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Programme 7.15PM Guests seated/Toastmaster on stage 7.18PM Welcome speech by L George - CEO, Asian Business Publications Ltd 7.22PM Comperes Nitin Ganatra and Nisha Parmar on stage 7.26PM Entertainment 7.38PM Speech by CB Patel, Chairman, Asian Achievers Awards 7.44PM Award ceremony begins Award 1 Achievement in Community Service Award 2 Achievement in Media, Arts & Culture Award 3 Sports Personality of the year Award 4 Uniformed, Civil & Public Services Award 5 Professional of the Year 8.15PM Charity: Yuva Unstoppable, Presentation and Auction * Speech by Naynesh Desai, Beefy Foundation * Charity Video * Speech by Amitabh Shah, Yuva Foundation * Auction by Lord Jeffery Archer 9.00PM Dinner 10.00PM Awards ceremony continues 10.02PM Entertainment 10.08PM Acknowledgments 10.15PM Awards presentation resumes Award 6 Woman of the Year Award 7 Entrepreneur of the Year Award 8 Business Person of the Year Award 9 Lifetime Achievement Award Award 10 Editor’s Awards 10.45PM Launch of a tribute magazine- 'Saluting UK's Kenyan Asians' 11.00PM End of the programme 11.05PM After party 01.00AM Carriages


AWARDS ards ’s choice aw The people



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t is truly wonderful to be able to offer my congratulations to all of those nominated in this year’s Asian Achievers Awards. The awards ceremony rightly recognises the outstanding accomplishments of the British Asian community, and the ongoing work of British Asians across all professions helping our country thrive. It is very clear looking across our society that we are indebted to the talents of so many British Asian women and men, excelling in areas such as business, entrepreneurship, community service, sports and politics, to name a few. You are part of what makes this country extraordinary, brimming with success and rich in culture. I am proud that at the very heart of Government, I have a number of inspirational colleagues of Asian heritage – including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, and the Home Secretary, Priti Patel – both of whom are leading examples for young people across the country. I have no doubt the next generation of British Asians will be at the centre of efforts to ensure that the UK has one of the most advanced, modern economies in the world, and will lead the way on some of the most important issues we will face in the future. Let me end by paying tribute to the organisers of this event and to all nominees. I wish you a very successful and enjoyable evening.





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ondon’s Asian communities make an enormous contribution to our city’s success socially, culturally and economically. The Asian Achievers Awards present a fantastic opportunity to recognise and celebrate the accomplishments of British Asians of all backgrounds, from every sphere, sector and walk of life. I’m proud to offer my congratulations to the winners and would like to pay tribute to all the nominees. Your leadership, innovation, creativity and hard work are part of what makes this country great.


Sadiq Khan Mayor of London #LondonIsOpen

am delighted to send my warm wishes for the 19th year of the Asian Achievers Awards which recognises and encourages excellence. I was honoured and privileged to be at the first Award ceremony which took place in 2000. British Asians’ continue to make huge contributions to numerous fields in the UK. Their commitment and drive have enabled them to turn adversity into opportunity. They helped build this great country. I regularly meet British Asians whose entrepreneurial spirit, professionalism and determination have improved the lives of people in the UK and abroad. The Asian Achievers Awards, nominated by the public, serves to highlight not only the prominence of British Asians in British Society but also to provide role models to inspire young British Asians to excel. I would like to pay tribute to CB Patel, one of Britain’s legendary Publishers and to George and the staff of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, now in their 48th year of publication for their dedication to recognising outstanding British Asians. I would also like to congratulate all those nominated for the awards and wish them all the best in their inspirational endeavours. I hope you have a wonderful evening.


With best wishes, Yours Sincerely, Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP



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19th Asian Achievers Awards 2019

Celebrating diversity and inclusion

hen we launched the Asian Achievers Awards at the Houses of Parliament nineteen years ago it was a modest affair attended by 150 guests. It was one of few initiatives that recognised and honoured growing Asian success. The community has since moved on with the younger generation now taking on the mantle of leadership and blazing new trails through uncharted territories. This is reflected in the wide range of nominations that we receive for the Asian Achievers Awards year after year. Growing numbers of nominations from women, FinTech, media, arts and sports show that the British Asian community has kept up with the times.


The UK has made great strides in promoting diversity and inclusion. We now respect and embrace each other's nationalities, faiths and backgrounds more readily than ever before. Diversity has been one of this country's greatest asset and it has significantly enriched our society, bringing tremendous cultural and economic benefits. But, inequalities including racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia do exist and they continue to hinder community cohesion and create workplace bias. As part of our endeavour to celebrate each other’s differences and build strong, vibrant, thriving communities we have chosen diversity and inclusion as the theme of this year's Asian Achievers Awards. Ever since we launched our publications 47 years ago we have supported several philanthropical organisations through various channels. The Asian Achievers Awards alone have helped raise a few million pounds for various charities whose activities have touched the lives of the less fortunate all over the world. This year's chosen charity is YUVA. Founded in 2005, it has mobilized more than 150,000 volunteers, touching the lives of over 500,000 people across India. Amongst its many initiatives, YUVA works to improve basic amenities of children such as drinking water, urinals, wash areas and classrooms of municipal schools, making them self-reliant, improving their skills and their self -esteem. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors whose generosity has made this event possible. The exemplary achievements of the winners and nominees of the Asian Achievers Awards are a reminder of human ingenuity and resolve, often in the face of adversity. They deserve every recognition and I join you in applauding them.

CB Patel Publisher / Editor Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar 2019 | ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS


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fter spending 17 years in Investment Banking, Nisha was feeling overworked and unfulfilled. Once she become a mother of 2 children, she felt she didn’t belong in finance and had fallen out of love with the industry which stifled her creativity. Her husband Sachin convinced her to apply for BBCs MasterChef UK. Feeling out of her depth, she applied, got on the show and came away with the title of Semi-Finalist. Showcasing a modern approach to Indian food, Nisha got noticed and did a few Private Dinner parties at clients homes. The photos of her food went viral on Instagram and she realised she had found a gap in the market. She set up her brand, worked 7 days a week at the bank and cooking at weekends. It became apparent the Private Dining business was taking off. She took the plunge, handed in her notice at the bank and started to live her dream. Since leaving the bank in March 2019, Nisha has gone onto cook for celebrities in their home such at Emma Willis (Presenter, The Voice) and Joe Wicks (The Body Coach). She was also selected to design the menu for the Unicef Soccer Aid Gala in June 2019. Bringing an indian flavour to this worldwide football event and cooking for the likes of Usain Bolt, Didier Drogba, Jamie Redknapp and Sir Mo Farah. Nisha’s Private Dining business is now established with waiting lists that go into 2021. In an attempt to make her food more accessible to everyone, she will be opening a cafe next month called Nourish by Nisha in a wellness centre. Alongside all the above, Nisha also provides a Gordon Ramsey approach and helps new and struggling Restaurants with her Menu Consultancy. Nisha also has an exciting magazine publication in the pipeline focusing on restaurants and food in collaboration with Asian Voice.


itin Ganatra has been a working actor in the UK for over 20 years and has appeared alongside actors such as Om Puri, Anupam Kher, Aishawariya Rai as well has Hollywood stars like Jonny Depp, Richard Gere and Donald Sutherland. He has been in dramas such as The Canterbury Tales, Peter Kosminsky’s The State, and Silent Witness and also films such as Charlie and the chocolate factory, Eaten By Lions and Hellboy. After a 16 year absence from the stage, recently he was cast in a sell-out new play called “End of the Pier” for which he received overwhelmingly positive reviews. Since leaving Eastenders, Nitin has finished shooting for Midsomer Murders for the BBC and The Worst Witch for Netflix. He is also about to go back to the theatre with a new play written by comedian David Badiel at the Soho theatre in October.





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A female icon in the not-for-profit sector, Anita is a teacher-turnedphilanthropist, driven through passion and purpose to make a difference in people’s lives. With a long and successful stint in education, she joined her family foundation on her husband’s insistence. Anita Goyal is the CEO and trustee of The Hemraj Goyal Foundation (HGF) and The Hallmark Care Homes Foundation. She is a patron of Binti International and has been the Honorary Chair of the FGM (female genital mutilation) Appeal for Barnardo’s for the past two years. Anita is an award-winning philanthropist and community champion, and has authored two books: Voices from Punjab, and Voices from Gujarat as part of a trilogy. She is the Cofounder of 'Ultimate You' where she designs educational seminars for business, leadership, life, and relationships along with her husband Avnish Goyal who is an award-winning entrepreneur. She is also the founder of 'People of the World'; a platform for people of diverse backgrounds to share their stories through books to inspire others. With her passion for philanthropy and her indomitable sense of purpose through education, Anita’s legacy will be one that will surely make a difference to a myriad of lives.

Atul Pathak is one of the UK’s most successful franchise entrepreneurs, running 41 McDonald’s restaurants and employing over 3,000 staff through his company Appt Corporation Ltd. Atul was awarded his OBE for Services to Entrepreneurship and serves as West London Business Ambassador. He has received two Honorary Doctorates - from the University of West London and the University of Bolton - and was named the ‘Leader of the Decade Creating a Better World for All’ by The Women Economic Forum in 2017. Giving back to the community is an integral part of Atul’s business philosophy. He established the annual Atul Pathak Community Awards in 2014, which recognise the valuable work of local charities in the communities near his restaurants, and more than 50 charities have benefitted from this scheme over the past six years. More generally, he and Appt Corps have together donated well over £1 million to good causes over the past ten years.

Zishan is a partner at EY and is based in the London audit business, focusing on mid-market entrepreneurial businesses. Zishan is a member of the UK firm’s Remuneration Committee and leads Diversity and Inclusiveness for the Assurance service line, which has over 2,000 employees. During his time at EY, Zishan has worked in London and in the Middle East. Zishan also spent a year in the banking industry at UBS Investment Bank and Lloyds Bank. Outside of work, Zishan loves travelling, cooking and has a world beating collection of poor accountant jokes. He also enjoys spending time at the gym and is determined to become a better swimmer.



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Achievement in Community Service

THE FINALISTS Neelam Farzana MBE Neelam Farzana MBE is a qualified and accredited counsellor with over 30 years of experience. She provides professional counselling in a safe, supportive, confidential and non-judgemental environment. Trained and accredited by the BACP in both Humanistic and Islamic Counselling, she is able to make use of a variety of methodologies to work with her clients of various backgrounds and ages. Neelam regularly contributes to the mental health arena through media appearances, seminars and workshops, including the intersection of faith and mental well-being. She was awarded an MBE for her services to mental health in the 2018 New Years Honours List. Neelam is a recipient of "Ambassador for Peace" Award from the UN Universal Peace Federation and was shortlisted for Asian Women of Achievement Awards in the past.

Mandy Sanghera Mandy Sanghera is an international human rights activist, supporting victims and survivors of honour-based violence and cultural abuse for about three decades. Mandy has worked across many demographics and has been involved in global campaigns and documentaries raising awareness of FGM, forced marriages, inequalities, incest and honour killings. She is a TEDx motivational speaker and has delivered sessions at the United Nations, US House of Representatives, European Parliament, House of Commons. Being one of the founders of the UK Forced Marriage Unit and UN campaigns and projects, she is often referred to as a global catalyst. Mandy is a strong champion of women and a global mentor, impacting thousands of lives with her strong presence on social media, TV appearances and public engagements.



Onkardeep Singh MBE Onkardeep Singh is one of the founding members of City Sikhs Network, UK’s largest network of Sikh professionals. Since young age, Onkar has been involved in several voluntary projects because of which, in 2018, he became one of the youngest people of South Asian origin to receive an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from the Queen, for his services to the community. He is also a founding member of the British Sikh Report which is the most robust annual report on the British Sikh community in the UK. The young activist is now in the process of setting up ‘Society and Me’, a nonprofit body aimed at inspiring social action, interfaith dialogue and conflict resolution. Professionally, he is a user experience designer and holds wider interests in sports, photography, technology and space.

Naeem Qureshi MBE Naeem Qureshi MBE regards himself as an ‘ordinary’ person but is known for his extraordinary contributions to the community. Naeem was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2018 for services to the community in Sparkbrook, Birmingham. His 23-year journey of community service began soon after his post-graduation in Telecommunications. Following the footsteps of his father, who devoted his life in community service, he actively campaigns for equal rights, social justice and protection of vulnerable people. Naeem is the Chair of Trustees of Ashiana Community Project, a charity that provides support to the local people in various aspects. Since 2014, he has partnered with many community organisations and has supported over 20,000 disadvantaged and vulnerable people including women and elderly across east Birmingham.

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Achievement in Media, Arts and Culture

THE FINALISTS Mukul Devichand Mukul Devichand is known as an innovative senior editor at the BBC, creating new approaches to the challenges that public media faces in the era of digital fragmentation, algorithms and AI. He is currently the Executive Editor of Voice + AI at the BBC. He is also part of the senior team of BBC Sounds, the broadcaster’s new digital audio app. Devichand’s background is in production and journalism, with a 15-year career as an investigative and long-form programme maker and then an editor for BBC News and the BBC World Service. He created and ran some of the BBC’s main digital journalism units, such as the BBC Trending unit and People Fixing The World, the broadcaster’s first dedicated solutionsfocused journalism unit.

Raheem Mir Raheem Mir is a trained Kathak dancer, performer and artist, who specifically performs in roles traditionally reserved for women. Raheem has challenged the concept of gender identities and has promoted the rich culture of Indian dance forms by performing in female roles, dressed like one. Raheem has studied M.A. in Contemporary Performance and Practice from Royal Holloway, University of London. Defying all the odds, Mir had participated in various dance competitions donning a half man and half woman avatar. He has performed at the Southbank Centre, the West End and has a TED Talk on his work with Intersectionality and Queering Iconography; he has also choreographed national winning teams. Recently, he has been awarded funding from the National Lottery, in association with the South Asian Dance Organisation Akademi, in creating solo work for Choreogata.

Asifa Lahore Asifa Lahore is Britain’s first out Muslim drag performer who rose to fame after appearing on the groundbreaking documentary Muslim Drag Queens. Asifa's impassioned activism on intersectionality, sexual orientation, disability, and religion has led her to speak at prestigious institutions like Channel 4 Diversity Festival, the British Library Oxford Union, among others. Asifa has been the face of Channel 4's 2016 diversity campaign, 'True Colour TV'. She received the Attitude Magazine Pride Award for activism and increasing visibility of the ‘Gaysian’ community. Her musings on world events have been featured for countless publications worldwide including Winq, Attitude, Gay Times, The Independent and IB Times. In spite of suffering from a rare genetic eye disease, Asifa continues to be a voice for intersectional Britain and DJs at London's top Gaysian clubs.

Faisal Islam Faisal Islam is an awardwinning broadcaster and journalist, he is currently the BBC's Economics Editor and was previously Political Editor at Sky News. Earlier, Faisal was the Economics Correspondent for Channel 4 News and The Observer newspaper. Faisal reports on pressing issues within the corporate world from government-subsidised arms dealers, and the future of the economy after Brexit, to how bankers are trading weather. Even as Faisal faces racial discrimination on a daily basis, he has a handful of awards under his belt and is lauded by peers and industry. In 2006 he was named Young Journalist of the Year at the Royal Society of Television awards. Faisal won the WorkWorld Foundations ‘Broadcast News Reporter of the Year’ in 2010. His coverage of the Icelandic banking crisis in 2009 garnered him further awards and praise. Islam was nominated for the Services to Media award at the British Muslim Awards in 2015. He won the Royal Television Society award in 2017, for his interview with Prime Minister David Cameron.



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Sports Personality of the Year

THE FINALISTS Adil Rashid Adil Rashid, a leg spinner was a part of the England squad in the Cricket World Cup held this year in England. With 129 dismissals, he has been the leading wicket-taker in the world since the 2015 World Cup. Born in Bradford, he is from a Pakistani background and has showcased great scope in the sport from a young age. In October 2015, after several ups and downs in his career, Rashid was selected in the England touring party to play against Pakistan in the UAE making his debut in the First Test at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium. Following the Test series, Rashid played in the ODI series. From here, he went on to play multiple international matches. In November 2018, Rashid became an Ambassador for the Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal charity.

Kabir Ali Kabir Ali is a former English cricketer. He is of Pakistani Punjabi descent. He last played for Lancashire in the English County Championship. A right-arm seam bowler and useful lower-order right-handed batsman, outside cricket he works as a model. Over the years, Kabir gradually established himself as a hard-working bowler who was dedicated to his craft. His best period to date has been 2002-3; he took 138 first-class wickets in those two English seasons, including eight five-wicket innings hauls. In February 2012, Kabir Ali joined Barisal Burners of the Bangladesh Premier League, a Bangladeshi Twenty20 league. He is the first cousin of cricketers Kadeer Ali and Moeen Ali and in May 2015 he announced his retirement from cricket due to ongoing injuries.



Yan Dhanda Yan Dhanda is an English professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Swansea City. He is a former England U17's international player. Dhanda began his career at West Bromwich Albion before moving to Liverpool. After 5 years, he left Liverpool to join Championship club Swansea City where he was originally expected to be with the Under 23s. The midfielder went on to make a blistering start to his career, scoring with his first touch in senior football to secure a 2-1 victory on the opening day of the Championship campaign. Of mixed race, Dhanda has often visited Punjab, India to learn more about his roots and inspire youngsters in the region. Back home in Swansea, he wishes to inspire Asians through his performances on the pitch. He speaks openly about facing racism in his career and is proud of his Indian heritage.

Harjit Singh Bhania OBE Harjit Singh Bhania aka Haj Bhania - a well-respected figure across Paralympic and Grassroots sport - has dedicated over 20 years of his service to wheelchair basketball as both a volunteer coach and as a coach within the GB Performance Programme. Haj has consistently brought medal glory home to Great Britain – including Paralympic, European and World Championship podium positions. His unique approach to coaching has drawn worldwide attention to the new generation of players being nurtured under his direction. He attends the BWB club conference every year and is committed to travelling around the UK delivering open sessions to participants at Regional Performance Centres in order to further develop coaches within the sport. This year, Haj has received an OBE for his services to the sport.

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Uniformed, Civil and Public Services

THE FINALISTS Cllr Ranjit Lal Dheer OBE Ranjit Dheer, a leading Indian-origin magistrate councillor was honoured by Queen Elizabeth II with prestigious award of an OBE in the New Year Honours List in 2018 for his services to the UK government. Dheer was first elected as a councillor at the Ealing council in 1982 and has won eight local government elections since then. During this long period, he has served the borough as a chair of many committees, school boards and public bodies as well as a deputy mayor and mayor. He is the longest-serving deputy leader of the council in the UK, having been first elected to this post in 2005. Currently, he is also Ealing cabinet portfolio holder for community services and safety. He has served as a Justice of the Peace (magistrate) and as a member judge of the employment tribunals.

Dr Rohit Shankar MBE Dr. Rohit Shankar MBE, FRCPsych is a NHS Neuropsychiatry consultant & Hon. Clinical Associate Professor at Exeter Medical School. He was conferred into the Membership of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, British order of knighthood to reward outstanding achievement or service to the community. Dr Shankar has over 100 publications, oral and poster presentations in peer reviewed journals and international conferences and has contributed to five books. He has numerous awards and recognitions for exceptional work in his field. In the last 3 years he has received many grants for research, innovation and teaching. He has also developed training DVDs and monthly podcasts for psychiatrists and GPs, tele-health projects for patient safety. Dr. Shankar has run monthly BBC mental health phone ins for the last 8 years and is leading national epilepsy charities.

Hafsa Qureshi Hafsa Qureshi is a bisexual Muslim and LGBTQ+ activist and is the Stonewall Bi Role Model of the Year 2019 for sharing her experiences as a BAME, LGBTQ+ Muslim Woman. Hafsa works for the Ministry of Justice and is very active in the LGBTQ+ network and cross Civil Service trans network. As a hijab-wearing Muslim, she has spoken out about issues relating to the South Asian queer community. She uses her platform within the MoJ to advocate her work. Hafsa was featured in a department-wide campaign promoting its values and how she exemplifies the value of ‘humanity’. Following this, she shared the stage alongside senior leaders to speak about diversity and inclusion and her experiences as a BAME, LGBTQ+ Muslim woman as well as someone who has a disability.

Dr Rangan Chatterjee Dr. Rangan Chatterjee is a British physician, author, television presenter, and podcaster. He is well recognised for his TV show Doctor in the House and for being the resident doctor on BBC One's Breakfast Show and as a regular commentator on BBC Radio. Dr. Chatterjee grew up in a medical family; studied at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, graduating in 2001 with an additional degree in immunology. Dr. Chatterjee is now a pioneer in the emerging field of progressive medicine and has immense experience as a doctor. His view of medicine and how he practised changed after he was not able to cure life-threatening condition of his six months old son. While he feels confident performing on screen – in his spare time he plays in a band.



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Professional of the Year

THE FINALISTS Asad Dhunna Asad Dhunna is the Founder of The Unmistakables - a cultural consultancy made up of minorities which helps organisations and campaigns be more representative of modern society. His clientele includes the England Cricket Board, Barnardo’s, Openreach and Unilever. Before starting up, Asad has held senior positions at top marketing and communications agencies. He has also been the Director of Communications for Pride in London. Asad holds a First Class Honours from the University of Warwick. He makes regular media appearances to comment on advertising, marketing, identity, and intersectionality. Being an avid writer, Asad has contributed to the likes of Newsweek, The Guardian, Huffington Post and The Independent and has appeared on BBC One, BBC Radio 4, 5 Live, Asian Network, Unilad, and Sky News and has also started a podcast called Muslim Pride.

Krishna Omkar Krishna Omkar is a corporate lawyer in the London office of King & Spalding and LGBTQ+ activist who was born and raised in India. He has wide practice of acting for public and private companies and regularly advises on corporate governance issues, and counsels in shareholder activism. Since 2016, Krishna worked on the successful initiative to decriminalise same-sex relations in India. He coauthored a brief to counsel that was submitted to the Indian Supreme Court and relied upon in its recent historic judgment. Krishna has led on pro-bono work for several respected LGBTQ+ organisations and organised fundraising initiatives for LGBTQ+ charities. He has played an instrumental part in LGBTQ+ network group, PRISM, since its inception. Krishna has been named a Future Leader by the Financial Times in its Executive Diversity Report between 2015 and 2018, and was a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2019.



Prof Dinesh Bhugra CBE Professor Dinesh Bhugra is an Emeritus Professor of Mental Health and Cultural Diversity at King’s College, London. Being appointed CBE and having awarded 10 honorary degrees from International Universities, Bhugra continues to champion the cause of people with mental illness. He has published over 500 scientific papers, 175 chapters and has authored/co-authored 37 books, three of which have been translated into Chinese and Japanese and two have won awards. Bhugra is the only British Asian to become the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the World Psychiatric Association. He was Vice-Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges with a remit for education for doctors of all grades and specialties. He was also the President of the British Medical Association (BMA) in 2018-19. He chaired the Board of Trustees of Mental Health Foundation from 2011-14 and is on the Boards of Psychiatry Research Trust and Sane charities. He is currently Non-Executive Director and Deputy Chair of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust since 2014.

Prof Charanjit Bountra OBE Prof Charanjit Bountra OBE is the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Professor of Translational Medicine at the University of Oxford. Being an ingenious teacher, researcher, innovator, and entrepreneur, he has delivered more than 300 lectures worldwide and continuously strives to make the UK a world leader in drug discovery. Chas, as he is popularly called, has been associated with many top pharmaceutical companies and disease foundations to develop affordable medicines. He has played a pivotal role in the identification of over 40 new drug molecules for neurological and gastrointestinal diseases. He also serves as an advisor for many academic, biotech and pharma drug discovery programmes. The Indian-origin Briton has trained and mentored several entrepreneurs and has established four research institutes, attracting a stupendous research funding of £200mn. Chas has received many awards for his distinguished work, including Top innovator in pharma (2014), Rita and John Cornforth (2015), Best Public-Private Partnership (2016), Master of the Bench (2017, 2018) and Order of the British Empire (2018).

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Woman of the Year

THE FINALISTS Anjali Ramachandran Anjali Ramachandran is a Director at Storythings, a content studio which designs and makes human stories for clients across different formats. Storythings produces podcasts, text and images, audio, animation and video for clients like Experian, Pearson, BBC, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and more. Previously, Anjali was Head of Innovation at PHD Media. Anjali is a co-founder of Ada's List, a global network of 7000+ women in technology. She is a trustee of visual arts charity Photoworks, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and on the advisory board of Angel Academe professional network. Anjali is also a member of the Digital Leaders of Europe Community of the World Economic Forum and on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee of the British Interactive Media Association.

Neeta Patel Neeta Patel is the CEO of the Centre for Entrepreneurs, home of NEF Fast Track, of which she was the founding CEO. Neeta’s career spans over 30 years of innovation, strategy and operational leadership experience across financial services, media & publishing, education, arts and the creative industries. She is an entrepreneur and mentor-inresidence at London Business School and a board adviser to a number of technology start-up companies. Neeta has been appointed as the Non-Executive Director at the Allianz Technology Trust. She was also listed as Computer Weekly’s ‘50 most influential women in UK technology’ in 2018; was also listed in the ‘Hall of Fame’ by Diversity UK as one of the ‘Top 100 Asian leaders in Tech’ in 2019 and named as one of the top ‘100 BAME Leaders in UK Business’ by The Financial Times and Inclusive Board in 2019.

Dr Ishani Patel Dr. Ishani Patel is the coFounder of Lantum, a total workforce technology platform that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable organisations to deliver primary care at scale. Her wide-ranging portfolio has evolved her to be a leading voice in GP recruitment, retention, and engagement at scale. Lantum has saved over £13m already for the NHS by offering stability for areas that are struggling to recruit with engagement, talent retention, and resilience to the system. Ishani has also held leadership roles at Transforming cancer services team (London) at NHS England, RCGP and Macmillan to drive forward quality improvement in early diagnosis of cancer, RMPartners Accountable Cancer Network, and a member of the Harvard Medical Innovators and leadership alumni. She is also a mentor in the RCGP Innovation and mentorship programme.

Asma Khan Asma Khan is an Indian-born British chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author. Asma moved to Cambridge from Calcutta in 1991 to join her husband. After studying law, she went on to do a Ph.D. in Law at Kings College London. Asma has always been passionate about food and is never short on confidence and ambition. She plunged into the food business in 2012 opening a supper club in her home. In 2015, she opened a popup in a Soho pub and Darjeeling Express in 2017. Her cookbook “Asma’s Indian Kitchen” won 2018 World Gourmand award for Best Indian Cookbook. Asma is the first British chef to feature in Netflix’s Chef’s Table and her episode was nominated for an Emmy. Asma is a trailblazer who went to Northern Iraq to open an allfemale cafe Yazidi refugee camp of girl and women survivors of ISIS soldiers to celebrate her 50th birthday.



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Entrepreneur of the Year

THE FINALISTS Kush Kanodia Kush Kanodia is a disabled BAME champion, a social entrepreneur and systems leader. He has developed a portfolio career helping several organisations from charities to non-profit organisations. Kush cofounded Choice International, an NGO that addresses discrimination and inequality worldwide. He also co-founded HeartsMap, a start-up that focuses on empowering and connecting local communities and SMEs. In 2016, he partnered with the Indian High Commission for the inauguration of the World Yoga Festival. Kush is currently the Director of Kaleidoscope Investments, which helps disabled entrepreneurs. In 2018, Kush was recognised in the top 10 most influential BAME leaders in technology at Parliament and was featured in the Financial Times. Previously, Kush was a Torch Bearer for the Paralympic Games in London in 2012 and Government role model.

Amit Gudka Amit Gudka is the co-founder of UK’s fastest-growing energy supplier - Bulb. Having acquired an in-depth understanding of the industry, working for years at Barclays, Amit founded Bulb in 2015 which provides 100% renewable electricity with fast and reliable service at reasonable prices. Amit wanted a new kind of business, which would demystify energy tariffs and place customer service at its core. Bulb derives all of its electricity, and 10% of its gas, from renewable sources. The company does not pass ridiculous premiums onto its customers. Instead, it harnesses innovative technologies to keep prices down. With a strategy of “greening up the grid”, Bulb has encouraged a record 5.5 million customers to switch their electricity provider in 2017.



Herman Narula Herman Narula founded Improbable Worlds Limited with his friends in Cambridge in 2012. Herman’s passion and enthusiasm for gaming technology have always been boundless. The Delhi born businessman almost tops Telegraph’s Tech Hot 100 list, with his stake in his company worth just less than half a billion pounds. But staggering as it is, his wealth is not as jawdropping as his vision. A devoted gamer and computer science student in his youth, Narula aims to grow and develop games until they offer perfect alternatives to reality. The young CEO of a multinational technology company believes that virtual worlds will be the fundamental basis of human interaction and culture in the future. Focused particularly on multiplayer games, his goal for the company is to make multiplayer technology easier to perfect and innovate around.

Bankim Chandra Bankim Chandra is the CEO of Dotsquares, a wellestablished IT development house based in the UK with established bases across geographies. It is an international web design company having years of experience in providing flexible and scalable solutions. Starting with humble beginnings in a cold garage with five employees, his company now has 700+ technical programmers, marketers and support staff. Apart from being an exceptional business leader, Bankim has also shown exceptional support for the Brighton & Hove Chattri, the Sussex Indian Punjabi Society, the local Hare Krishna community and has provided support and sponsorship to the Sussex Business Squash League, and both Rottingdean and Sussex Cricket Clubs. He has been a huge believer in apprenticeship, and many youngsters have benefitted in the UK and through Dotsquares University in India.

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Business Person of the Year

THE FINALISTS Neeraj Kanwar The Vice Chairman & Managing Director of Apollo Tyres, Neeraj Kanwar has played a vital role in Apollo’s journey towards becoming one of the most admired automotive tyre brands with more than $2 billion valuation. Under his leadership, Apollo Tyres has expanded significantly in new Greenfield facilities in Hungary and India. Neeraj’s strong push on R&D has led to the establishment of two global R&D centres – the Netherlands and India, where over 350 scientists are developing categoryleading products. Neeraj Kanwar is a people-centric business leader who believes in empowering employees. Because of which his company is recognised as the best place to work in India in the automotive sector. Being a sports aficionado, Neeraj has established sponsorship association with Manchester United Football Club and has signed cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar as the company’s brand ambassador.

Vipul Vadera Vipul Vadera joined his family-run fragrance business, Per-Scent as Managing Director in 1998 and successfully catapulted Per-Scent’s revenue growth into fragrance distribution. It owes its rapid development to successful partnerships with a variety of major mainstream retailers. Today Per-Scent has a financial turnover circa £100 million, supplying fragrances, skincare, and cosmetics to over 5,000 retail doors. Vipul is also the CEO of The Fragrance shop, an authorised distributor of some of the world's most desirable and globally recognised perfumes. With 222 successful stores across the UK, they also have a very strong online presence. Since 2012, the Vadera brothers have been in partnership with Rays of Sunshine, donating 5p from every transaction to the charity that grants magical wishes to terminally ill children every day. To date, they have raised over £1,000,000.

Rooney Anand Former Green King CEO Rooney Anand has been appointed as the Chairman of the Casual Dining Group. He served as the CEO of FTSE 250 giant Greene King for 18 year, and was the head of its brewing division since 2001. When he took over in 2004, Greene King had 1,998 pubs. Today, it has over 2,800 while turnover has quadrupled to £2.2billion as a result of several acquisitions under his leadership. Anand was named the 18th most influential figure in brewing by the Morning Advertiser in 2005. He was named Business Leader of the Year at the 2016 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards. Anand also sits on the board of Morrisons and is the Chair of World Skills UK.

Lord Waheed Alli Fashion entrepreneur, former media tycoon, gay rights activist and Peer, Lord Waheed Alli has been a prominent figure since 1990s. He was appointed to the House of Lords as its youngest member, and the first openly gay peer in July 1998. Lord Alli is the Chief Executive of Silvergate Media and Chairman of Koovs Plc, an online fashion retailer in India. He is also a director of the Olga Productions which makes Paul O’Grady’s television. In the 1990s he was the Managing Director of one of the largest independent production companies in the UK responsible for innovative programming such as The Big Breakfast and The Word. Lord Alli was the founding Chairman of ASOS, the UK’s largest independent online fashion and beauty retailer. Under his stewardship, the company grew from £4m to over £2bn. He is also a patron of The Elton John Aids Foundation.



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Zishan Nurmohamed: EY UK Partner leads the way on Diversity and Inclusion Newly promoted EY UK Partner Zishan Nurmohamed has scaled the ranks at the Big Four firm over the last 16 years. Here he shares his story on becoming a Partner and how EY is leading the way on diversity and inclusion (D&I).

Zishan Nurmohamed

THE ROAD TO BECOMING AN EQUITY PARTNER “Walking into the office on my first day in 2002, I could barely see any ethnic minority (BME) colleagues and as a result, I never thought I could become a Partner in a global organization. Looking back, it has been a challenging, competitive and rewarding journey. I am also proud of the progress EY has made since 2002 as nearly 30% of junior staff are now from a BME background,” he says. “I can easily summarise my time as being on a roller coaster and an enormous learning curve. I am better for it and crucially have always felt supported in bringing my authentic cultural self into the workplace.” Zishan joined EY as an audit junior and has worked his way up at EY’s UK and Dubai offices. Now, as an equity



partner, he focuses on growing, midmarket entrepreneurial businesses, particularly those that are privately owned but also those that are listed up to the FTSE 350. Zishan is a member of the UK firms Remuneration Committee and leads D&I for the assurance service line, which has over 2,000 employees. “The nature of the mid-market sector means you are exposed to businesses that span many different industries. I currently deal with manufacturing, digital media, professional services, retail and real estate,” he says. Zishan studied bookkeeping whilst working at a high street accountancy firm and further developed his knowledge around the banking sector with stints at UBS Investment Bank and Lloyds Bank. His late mother worked as a checkout operator at Tesco for over 20 years and instilled the values of working hard and helping others

HARNESSING EY'S FOCUS ON DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Zishan is an active ambassador of EY’s D&I strategy. Earlier this year, the firm introduced an ambitious target of doubling the proportion of female and

BME partners in its UK business to 40% female and 20% BME by July 2025. As of 1 July, EY’s UK partnership stands at 22% female and 11% BME, which is an increase of 2% and 1% respectively from the previous year. “EY recognises the importance of a diverse workforce and harnessing the myriad of skills that employees from different cultures and religions bring. If I was unable to be open about myself, the people I work with would not be able to understand my perspective. Equally, I carry a responsibility to allow others to feel comfortable to ask questions about me.” EY has a number of active employee-led D&I networks focusing, amongst others, on Unity (LGBT), ability (as opposed to disability), race and ethnicity. The firm also played a key role in the Parker Review, which focuses on ethnic diversity within large UK PLCs boards. “It’s an exciting time to be an audit partner, especially as the UK’s audit market is currently facing a huge amount of change and tougher regulation. I really enjoy working with clients and am grateful EY has provided an environment where I feel a strong sense of belonging.”

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OUT AND HOMELESS Shame and stigma are terms that have been long associated within the Asian diaspora towards members of the LGBTQ+ community. But aside from ostracisation, discrimination and mental health issues, the latest and an increasing concern revolves around LGBTQ+ members finding themselves homeless.

heena (name changed on condition of anonymity) was born into a male body but ever since childhood she realised she felt more feminine in her physical, mental and emotional character. However, it was difficult to find that support from her parents, who believed “hormonal treatment can cure” her. But when they failed to understand and accept the glaring reality, Sheena was forced to leave home. Speaking to the Asian Achievers Awards magazine, she said, “My parents always knew about my identity since I was 13 years old but it was a subject that was never openly discussed about. There is this norm in Asian families of brushing things under the carpet, as if not acknowledging it will resolve the tensions. “I remember after classes got over at school I used to stay out for longer hours and return home only when I had to because I used to feel safer and more comfortable. It was when I started university that things went from bad to worse and I moved out soon after I finished university when my parents suggested that I start seeing a mental health counsellor and medical experts.” An English undergraduate, Sheena currently supports herself by working at a check-out counter in Sainsbury. But she is one among many British Asians who are not confined to the gender norms and are struggling to make ends meet. A report published in 2015 by the




Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) showed that the LGBTQ+ people made up almost a quarter of the young homeless. According to the same report 69% of the LGBTQ+ members felt they had been rejected by their parents. Today AKT’s Purple Door Project, offers housing for homeless LGBTQ+ people aged between 16 and 25 in London and Newcastle. The Sexual Offences Act 1967 decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales. There is no clear data available indicating the percentage of British Asians identifying themselves as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Yet, AKT estimates that there are 150,000 individuals either homeless or at the risk of being rendered homeless owing to intolerance. It also shows that 45% of those feeling rejected by their families are from a faith background. Under such circumstances charities and organisations such as Club Kali and Naz and Matt Foundation have taken the onus on themselves to support the youth in ways that they can. “We have worked with Albert Kennedy Trust, and Stonewall housing and refer young homeless people there. Often we are the first port of call when these young people are abused, evicted, cast out by family etc. Club Kali is their family, their community and we then offer support by pointing them to organisations for actual help,” said a spokesperson for Club Kali. Club Kali also encourages safe

spaces and raise awareness around sexual health at its LGBTQ+ nights through its - partnerships with sexual health organisations including NHS care trusts, and other screening clinics. “We have them present on our 'community stall' to provide resources, information, and offer testing for diseases such as HIV. This usually doesn't happen in mainstream straight communities as they think they are not affected by them,” said the member of Club Kali. However, Club Kali is not the only not-for-profit organisation hosting support groups, and peer discussions where people can make fast friends with others like them who are going through similar experiences and are willing to share their stories. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall celebrations and among other organisations is Naz and Matt Foundation. Matt set up the Naz and Matt Foundation in memory of his fiancé, Naz, who passed away two days after being confronted about his sexuality by his religious parents. It was the first time that they knew their son was gay, in a relationship with Matt for 13 years and that they were planning to get married. Although, recent discussions around LGBTQ+ community have brought their struggles to the attention of charitable organisations and community leaders, more work needs to be done.

25-27 Advert.qxp_Layout 1 30/08/2019 18:53 Page 25


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MISSING NON-WHITE VOICES IN NEWSROOMS British politics appears to be diverse and inclusive today, but what about mainstream British political journalism? And why do we need diversified newsrooms to challenge those driving antiimmigration rhetoric in a Brexit-prone UK?

“Politics has a direct impact on people’s lives and it is crucial that those who are reporting on it are representative of society. If you are a black or ethnic minority journalist, or a female one, then you may have different interests, and pursue different stories than if the entire press pack is made up of only white men. “The same is true of socio-economic background where there is also under representation- particularly when it comes to people who are both from lower income backgrounds and ethnic minority ones,” Anushka Asthana told the Asian Achievers Awards magazine. Anushka is one of the few non-white British journalists at The Guardian reporting on the aftermath of the Brexit vote, rise of Jeremy Corbyn and the latest appointment of Boris Johnson’s cabinet. Over the years, she has reported at Sky News, the Times, Peston on Sunday and the Observer. But Anushka appears to be one of the few non-white journalists to excel in the field. According to the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ Diversity in Journalism report published in 2017, ethnic minorities were “significantly under-represented” in the media. In total, 94% of journalists working in the UK are white, slightly higher than the UK workforce as a whole (91%). Many in the industry believe that linguistic barriers and not having qualified from certain reputed institutions can hinder BAME journalists from working in the



mainstream press. “I don’t think there is anything that I would call Etonian standard writing people can write well whatever their background and even if someone doesn’t, I would strongly urge them to still consider journalism as a career. In fact, I think that writing is just one small part (admittedly an important one) of the job. “I didn’t study English after GCSE and never considered myself to be a good writer but when I first began at a newspaper, I realised that this job was all about talking to people, making contacts, finding out information and having ideas. I’ve worked as a deputy news editor on a desk and I saw some of the writing from some of the best journalists in the country. It wasn’t always good,” says Asthana. Echoing her view is journalist and writer Saima Mir. She is a former BBC journalist and a contributor to the book ‘Its not about the burqa’. Looking at the last 15 years of her career, she says the diversity index in mainstream media “has improved but only marginally”. Discussing how journalists of colour are important to understand the nuances of culture, inclusion and religion often forming part of political journalism, Saima said, “I was the only non-white journalist at The Telegraph in Bradford, 15 years ago, and this is an area with a significant population of British Pakistanis.

“When I started working at the BBC after the Tube bombings, I was the only Asian Muslim journalist there and the organisation barely had any interface with the Muslim diaspora. As someone from the community, it was relatively easier for me to develop contact with individuals and bring their concerns to the forefront,” she says. Today, she says that although, more people of colour appear on TV screens, very little has changed with respect to commissioning editors and those deciding the news agenda. Olivia Crellin is a BBC journalist and Founder of PressPad UK. PressPad is an award-winning social enterprise assisting young journalists particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds to break into mainstream media. “PressPad was born out of a desire to help journalist who came from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. Thus, we match interns and freelancers in need of accommodation at big cities with established media professionals who have a spare room and can provide mentorship to them,” said Olivia. Today, there are various organisations allocating funds and scholarships for BAME journalists but many media professionals belief more needs to be done to make the industry truly diverse and inclusive.

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PAINTING A WORLD OUTSIDE THE TICK-BOX Diversity and inclusivity are the new hot potatoes in Britain. From politics to cricket, they have been at the front of Britain's modern face today. Earlier in 2018, an artwork featuring Mala Sen had been hung up in Brick Lane, in the heart of East London. It was part of a joint enterprise by London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and Tate Britain to honour 20 women who have played a crucial role in London’s history but have been largely overlooked.

hile there has been an effort to include, represent and recognise the skills of nonwhite artists in the performing arts and culture industry, some artists believe progress has been slow. Suman Kaur is the winner of the BBC The Big Painting Challenge 2017. She studied Art and Design up to college level, and went on to study Prosthetics and Orthotics. Today, her academic qualifications alongside her artistic capabilities are reflected into her artwork and illustrations providing a unique insight into the human spirit and facets of South Asian history. “It is a very difficult career to get established in. But the power of arts to connect people, and communicate messages outweighs the monetary value. For me, art evolves into history and heritage. “When I look at Sikh history and arts, it is a very niche space and not many people are well versed with it. As a British Asian sometimes I was unable to connect with my history because I did not have a visual insight into it. I thought that the art world of the South Asian culture revolved around digital illustrations and I was unaware of the skills of the South Asian artisans of the 17th-18th century.




“Today, culture and history are a major part of who I am but it is not all that my art is about and I don't want my art to be stereotyped by my culture. Personally, as an artist, I am looking to develop my skills and looking up to public galleries and contemporary shows to include my works,” she told the Asian Achievers Awards magazine.

This year, Arts Council England published its annual report on diversity within the arts sector, showing that in some areas, arts organisations are “treading water”. Their Creative Case for Diversity addresses other challenges and opportunities in audience development, public engagement, workforce and leadership, and collections development in museums. Recently eighteen institutions across England have successfully bid for

finances worth £7.1 million to nurture leaders in the arts, including addressing the under-representation of certain groups. It is part of the Arts Council’s Transforming Leadership Fund. Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England said, “Transforming Leadership provides funding for innovative and effective leadership development at all stages of someone’s career. Arts Council England is supporting ‘Sour Lemons’ Making Lemonade’ programme to support and mentor young leaders from diverse backgrounds to ensure equality and inclusion across the arts sector.” While individuals across the board believe that the “tides are turning” in their favour, the struggle to cement roles in mainstream arts industry continues. Banita Sandhu is a Welsh-born Asian actress and star of Bollywood film October. She said, “I would say that whilst the term ‘diverse representation’ has catapulted in the last five years, as we are finally seeing more BAME artists on screen, I still don't think there are enough minority writers who are given the green light by producers and studios. “I still, to this day, struggle with my cultural identity because I grew up with few authentic stories about our community. On top of that, as an actress, I often find myself frustrated with the lack of three-dimensional roles available for British women of colour. I struggle to fit into their version of what a British Asian woman is because it's written and cast by those who don't understand who we are.” Contemporary art is a gateway to understanding culture, history, inclusivity and diversity in the industry can lead to better-informed youth.

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Charity auctioneer of the evening LORD JEFFREY ARCHER

Jeffrey Archer has topped the bestseller lists around the world with sales of over 270 million copies in 97 countries and more than 37 languages. He is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (eighteen times), short stories (four times) and non-fiction (The Prison Diaries). He gained a Blue in athletics at Oxford, was President of the University Athletics Club, and went on to run the 100 yards in 9.6 seconds for Great Britain in 1966. Jeffrey has served five years in the House of Commons and twenty-two years as a Member of the House of Lords. His latest novel Be Careful What You Wish For, (book four of The Clifton Chronicles series) spent twelve weeks in the top 10 - four of them at #1 on the Sunday Times Best Seller list, and also went to #1 in Australia, India, and South Africa. www.jeffreyarcher.com. Follow Jeffrey on Facebook and Twitter @Jeffrey_Archer



A day with Royal Challengers Bangalore. This is a unique experience for 4 people to visit Royall Challengers Bangalore during the IPL Season in 2020. RCB is captained by Virat Kohli and this prize has been offered by Parthiv Patel, the Indian Test Wicket Keeper and current Vice Captain of RCB. The 4 of you will have VVIP tickets, you will meet with Parthiv Patel who will introduce you to the other players, you will then be seated in the owner’s Box to watch the game and there will be pre-match and post-match hospitality. You will also be given a bat signed by all the players of Royal Challengers Bangalore. This is a unique opportunity to interact with some of the finest IPL players.


Enjoy a dance lesson for 4 people, which can either be in London or India with the world famous choreographer Shiamak Davar. Shiamak is the leading choreographer in India and has choreographed dances for the Commonwealth Games and for many Bollywood movies as well as Mission Impossible 4. He has worked with some of the top Bollywood actors and has won many awards for his choreography. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity to train with one of India’s finest choreographers for 4 people.


A unique opportunity to bid for a shirt signed by the entire Indian Cricket Team which beat Australia in Australia for the first time in 71 years. This is a personal piece of history. The shirt belongs to wicket keeper Parthiv Patel’s from the match and is signed by Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and all the other members of the Indian Test Team. This will be a unique opportunity to own a piece of cricket history.


For the first time in 2019 the England Cricket Team finally won the World Cup. This is your opportunity to bid for a bat signed by all members of the England Team that won the World Cup in England in 2019. This is a unique collector’s piece and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.


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Enjoy a 1 hour batting masterclass with V V S Laxman. You have the opportunity to either have the session in London or in India. 6 of you will have the opportunity to train with VVS Laxman, one of India’s finest contemporary batsman and scored a double century against Australia following which India won the Test Match. You will have the opportunity to have tea with VVS, either before or after the session and be ensured of a memorable afternoon talking to him about cricket and his unique experiences.


Kings XI Punjab are one of the IPL’s most attractive teams to watch. This is an opportunity to obtain 6 VVIP tickets to see a match during the 2020 Season. You will be met by the owner of Kings XI Punjab and other stakeholders in the franchise. You will have a meal with them before the game and you will watch the game from the owner’s Box. In addition to this you will be presented with a bat signed by all the players. This is an opportunity to meet with the owners of an IPL franchise and to understand how the IPL works.


Enjoy a Royal Holiday. You and 3 other members of your family or friends will spend 2 nights and 3 days as a guest of Her Highness Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur staying at the Raj Mahal Palace Hotel. You will also be taken on a private tour of the City Palace and learn the rich history of Jaipur and visit the surrounding sights. In addition, you will have a unique experience to meet with Her Highness Princess Diya Kumari for an afternoon tea. This is an experience that money cannot buy.


Wisley Golf Course is one of the finest private golf clubs in England. Its membership includes notable footballers and many celebrities. Your opportunity to play with Wisley’s Golf Professional at the Wisley Golf Course with either two of your friends or, if you prefer, with one other friend and a former England cricketer. You will be given a choice from Mark Ramprakash, Devon Malcolm or Allan Lamb to play with you on the day. You will enjoy lunch before or after your round and you will experience one of the finest golf courses in England.


Visit and stay with the Royal Family of Ambaji. Ambaji is a unique Temple. Narendra Modi, Mukesh Ambani, Amitabh Bachchan regularly seek blessings of the Goddess. This is your opportunity to visit the town of Ambaji and to visit the Temple and stay with Shri Ajayraj Singhji & his Royal Family. This is an opportunity for 4 people for 2 days. You will enjoy dinner with the Royal Family as well as a special private tour of the Temple & get as close to the Goddess as only Narendra Modi does. Considered as one of the most holy temples in India this will be an incredible experience for 4 of you to stay with the Royal Family and visit the Temple.



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Photo courtesy: Lord’s Taverners Wicketz programme at Repton School


n today’s Britain, diversity is not an uncommon factor and a ‘must have’ to reflect the right image of our nation. Inclusivity in sports is about doing it equally together, along with diverse communities and people from disadvantaged background- a process that cannot be achieved with a single action. In early years, inclusion in sport mostly meant avoiding any kind of exclusion. But now it also stands for engaging with different and diverse communities, ensuring the right representation at all levels. ‘Kick It Out’ is an organisation that was started in 1993 to combat racism in football. The ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football’ campaign was created to fight racial prejudices that was prevalent in the 90s. It not only focused on educating players and fans, but also mentored those who were at risk, making it easier for them to report problems, as well as ensuring they are taken seriously. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2016 made possible for transgender athletes to compete in the Olympics without undergoing sex reassignment surgery. The only requirement was to demonstrate that their testosterone level was below a certain level for at least one year before they could compete. As a result of this, many governing bodies of other sports and sporting events automatically started putting in place rules defining the eligibility of transgender individuals,




encouraging them to participate with confidence. The Paralympics since it has been established, has gone from strength to strength and demonstrated that disabled people can participate in any sports, and many only need limited assistance in order to compete at the top. In a similar bid of inclusivity, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), have also created a comprehensive and ambitious 11-point action plan to better engage with the South Asian communities. They have also formed urban centres, first one recently launched in Leyton, to engage with the communities further and there will be 22 such centres in the coming 7 years working with council and philanthropists. Lord Kamlesh Patel OBE who is on the ECB board as a Senior Independent Non-Executive Director told the Asian Achievers Awards, “The problem is not how to bring people to these urban centres, the problem is how to engage them with the existing structures. “We are creating new structures- one of the areas we are working with is women and girls. Last Sunday, at Park Avenue, we had 44 women from South Asian community, who spent the whole day with family members, and there were 600 people watching. The main challenge is to create the right environment and working with the community.” Shruti Saujani, ECB City Programme Manager added, “The greatest

challenge has been changing perception that women (from South Asian communities) can step up- to break stereotypes, that women can also do sports and change the perception locally.” Shruti and her team are now taking their national entry level cricket to faith centres- temples, mosques, gurdwarasgiving children the best experience of cricket and creating role models through volunteers especially women. The Lord’s Taverners’ Wicketz is also a community programme providing wider opportunities for participants to improve their future prospects and develop social and personal skills such as confidence, respect, teamwork and leadership. Wicketz was initially aimed at hardto-reach youngsters aged 8-16 years within areas of high deprivation across the UK, using cricket as a hook to engage young people who live in communities where there are few opportunities to play the game regularly. National Wicketz Programme Manager Dan Wilson said, “There’s a lot in the media about the issues that young people are facing all over the UK at the moment, and sport is just something that for an hour or two a week everyone’s on a level playing field. All the kids, they all have the same goal when they’re playing together, they’re all striving to achieve the same thing, and we just want them to translate that into day-today life.”

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STRIKING H THE RIGHT BALANCE Violent crime as recorded by the Police in England and Wales has risen by 19% in twelves months to the end of September 2018, according to the latest figures released by the Home Office. The appointment of BAME judges in the judiciary has increased but some say that progress is slow. Today, the road to securing a judicial appointment requires more than “a tap on the shoulder”.



is Honour Judge Avik Mukherjee has spent 25 years at the Criminal Bench before being appointed as the Circuit Judge at Birmingham Crown Court in October 2015. He told the Asian Achievers Awards magazine, “It is essential for the Judiciary to represent society. When I had started practising law, the Judiciary was primarily white and male. Times have changed now and although, it is a start I am confident that the next generation will take forward these changes to another level. “We come across defendants, witnesses and others in the courtroom from Black and Ethnic Minorities. It is only fair that if these individuals are reflective of society then so should the Judiciary. “It helps if a defendant is able to see that someone potentially from a similar background is making decisions for them. They may not like the decision but then they may not be able to say that owing to cultural reasons their case was not fairly heard in the courtroom.” However, research indicates BAME lawyers and solicitors are less likely to apply for judicial positions owing to low confidence, perceptions around institutional bias and lack of guidance. Consequently, in April earlier this year, the Pre-Application Judicial Education Programme was launched. This joint initiative between the Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Judicial Appointments Commission and legal professional bodies, will allow lawyers from under-represented groups to be

better supported to become judges. In the meantime, a recent recruitment campaign in the North of England has seen a record number of BAME candidates appointed to become members of the Parole Board. The Board has been calling for a more diverse membership that better reflects the community it serves and brings a mix of perspectives and experience to decision making. This was particularly highlighted in the review undertaken by David Lammy where he pointed out that lack of diversity can impact on confidence and trust in the Criminal Justice System. Judge Mukherjee added, “It is a tough road to becoming a barrister and extremely competitive in receiving pupilage. I was myself rejected the first time I had applied. But after the first two failed attempts, I realised that I needed help and used the Bar Council to pair me with a Judicial Mentor, who helped me through the process. It is a great scheme and the best testament to its importance and I am now a Judicial Mentor myself.” Today, Judge Mukherjee says that competition also centres around the number of lawyers completing their Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) as opposed to those receiving pupilage. But perceptions around pupilage being “a closed shop” is soon wading off. In recent past there are examples in the form of Judge Anuja Dhir QC, Lady Cheema-Grub and other such woman being elevated in the Judicial system. The appointments send a clear message that no longer will race and gender get in the way of appointment on merit. Judge Mukherjee advices that rejections and repeated applications should not deter one from applying for pupilage. “Prospective candidates must consider work shadowing, networking, avid work experience not necessarily in the legal field but in any industry. As far as both Judiciary and chambers is concerned they follow a strict policy in recruitment and failures are only part and parcel of life.”

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Different professional industries have their own distinct work cultures, rules, ethics and therefore peculiar set of policies. But inclusivity and diversity remain the key requirements in most firms. An inclusive working environment is one in which everyone feels valued, that their contribution matters and they are able to perform to their full potential, no matter what their background, gender, identity or circumstances.

n inclusive workplace also enables a diverse range of people to work together effectively. While UK legislation sets minimum standards, an effective diversity and inclusion strategy goes beyond legal compliance and seeks to add value to an organisation, contributing to employee well-being and engagement. In an article by CFA Society UK, according to figures compiled by Mercer for The Diversity Project, in the diversity and inclusion benchmarking report, 77% were found to be male. Only 1% identified as being Black. Only 4% reported a disability, and 95% identified as being heterosexual. 38% were privately educated – despite the fact that only 7% of the UK population attend private schools. According to the findings of the CFA Society of the UK’s second annual Gender Diversity Survey, professionals want more focus to be placed on socioeconomic factors, mental well-being, and Black, Asian, and minority inclusion. They also wanted better support for people with physical disabilities. In fact, survey respondents felt that creating an inclusive culture was the most pressing issue for the industry, even beating the gender pay gap. The asset management industry wants to recruit from wider backgrounds, and this is definitely a welcoming news. But there is still a long way to go on creating inclusive cultures.




Working together

effectively In the health industry inclusion has also become a valuable addition but there is a lack of disabled nurses- which clearly shows that much work is left to be done to make it more inclusive. In academia, especially in the field of law, there are not many Asians. Dr Subhajit Basu, a part of that minority community, is an Associate Professor of Information Technology Law, at the University of Leeds. He has just received the ‘Hind Ratan Award’ for 2020. Speaking to the Asian Achievers Awards magazine he said, “Inclusivity and integration are a two way street. In legal academia, in the UK, the number from minority background is still fractional. Once you are able to break through and a part of that academia, the matter of inclusivity comes in. But it also depends on whether you have it in you, to accept the country you have adopted. In lot of cases the problem with diaspora is we try to stay within our comfort zones and people or things we know. We always talk about how inclusive the society should be, but how inclusive have you been is also a question to be asked.” Pallab Sarker, founder of successful PR firm Apollo Strategic Communications, who is also a brilliant

musician, said, "There is no doubt that the UK was a far more racist country when my father moved here from Bangladesh in the late 1970s. Many of those from the first generation worked long hours, keeping their head down, with the sole aim of building a better tomorrow for their children. But Britain has transformed beyond recognition in the last few decades, proving to be a place where ethnic minorities are becoming part of the establishment. British Asians are now politicians, journalists and stand-up comics that are household names. The old stereotypesbecoming a doctor or accountant - is no longer seen as the only safe bet for success. "However, despite Britain's new found multiculturalism there are still pockets of prejudice and there is still a receptive audience for a far right message. Unfortunately, there are still a minority of people, including those in polite society, who would happily turn the clock backwards. This is a reality that many of my friends and I still experience from time to time, especially outside of London. Now, more than ever, especially with the rise of populism, we cannot be complacent or those hard won gains will be lost.”

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STANDING UP FOR ‘WOMANHOOD’ Companies in every continent, are trying to increase support for women in their organisations. Benefits of inclusivity and diversity are clear in a workplace, but often when it comes to women groups, millennials make it clear that they don’t want to be pigeonholed by a demographic category. They also reject the idea of ‘one-size-fits-all’ women’s initiatives.

hallenges are manifold. On one hand ‘cultural appropriation’ is a question. On the other, it is important to ensure women are well incorporated within the company and its board, although the requirements remain various. There is a wide range of changes and growth among industries- the tech revolution and STEM are becoming significantly important, but they have always been male dominated areas of work. Actual barriers have perhaps lowered in 2019, but, ‘gender stereotyping’ still frightens women to push boundaries. The purpose of gender inclusion is to recognise that until gender neutrality is achieved, policies, programs and language need to be broader to encompass the fluidity of gender expression and orientation. Nadia Nassif, the CEO and founder of Springboards Consulting said, “Individual cultural context plays a huge role in shaping how individuals communicate, are motivated and are perceived. Take networking, for example — the “do’s and don’ts” can be pretty mysterious to multicultural employees. In facilitating a learning initiative at a Big 4 consulting firm, I heard from a young Asian woman struggling to understand what was appropriate: ‘How


do I promote myself without coming across as too showy or aggressive? Is it OK to talk about my kids? Can I ask others about their personal life?’ Faced with challenges that relate to both cultural and gender identity, this woman ended up feeling disconnected from her colleagues, even those in the women’s employee resource group.” Shefali Davda-Bhanot is the Director of Seventh Degree Limited, assisting employees with career changes, particularly those looking to enter the world of technology start ups from the corporate sector. She told the Asian Achievers Awards, “Inclusivity is an important subject and it should not be a topic that comes and goes. Inclusivity is not just the right thing or an ideal thing to do, just conceptually, but the benefits are much more than one realises- from happier employees to empowering a productive workforce. There are statistics and facts that show diverse and inclusive environment always produce happier employees. “We are fortunate to see the big

corporates have cultural community groups- even faith based rooms, dedicated to their work planning. But yes, I would say that women are generally still shyer than men, especially during negotiating salaries or discussing promotions.” Neelam Heera, founder of the charity Cysters, spoke about the social side of women’s inclusivity- the definition of ‘womanhood’, especially for those women who are facing identity crises under societal pressure. Through Cysters, she combats some of the misconceptions around reproductive health and feels that issues around women’s reproductive health can often be trivialised by healthcare professionals and sexualised by the ethnic community due to cultural beliefs. Speaking to the magazine, she said, “At Cysters we are inclusive of the transgender community. They are traditionally not seen as women. Some may still have ovaries and uterus, and in transition being men, but still would have health conditions of a woman. Since these health conditions are termed for women, they have no one to tun to. With the theme of inclusivity we would be supporting this community as well. “We want to challenge the societal impression of ‘womanhood’. Women aren’t just there to have children. This is years of conditioning by male dominated society. There are plenty of women who don’t want to have children or can’t conceive. Not only we raise awareness, but Cysters actually challenge these misconceptions and stand for what ‘womanhood’ actually is.”



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Our Sponsors Ernst & Young EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services they deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. EY develops outstanding leaders who deliver on the promises to all of their stakeholders. In so doing, they play a critical role in building a better working world for their people, for their clients and for their communities. EY refers to the global organisation and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organisation, please visit ey.com.

Starling Bank Starling Bank is a digital challenger bank based in the United Kingdom. It operates Current Accounts, Business Accounts, and a Payments Services scheme for merchants. Headquartered in London, Starling Bank is a fully licensed and regulated bank, founded by former Allied Irish Banks COO, Anne Boden, in January 2014. Since its inception, it has received significant funding, including an investment of $70 million in 2016. The bank currently offers a personal current account and business account with eligible deposits up to £85,000 protected by the FSCS. Starling is a member of Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay.

Edwardian Hotels Edwardian Hotels London is one of the largest in the UK's hotel sector. The success story of the company goes back to 1977 when its current Chairman and Founder Jasminder Singh OBE bought the Vanderbilt Hotel in South Kensington. While nine of the hospitality chain's hotels are within central London, it also owns the Radisson Edwardian Heathrow, New Providence Wharf Hotel in Canary Wharf and Radisson Blu Edwardian in Manchester. The group has also launched a number of successful restaurant concepts across several of its hotels – May Fair Kitchen, Scoff & Banter, Annayu and Steak & Lobster are some of them. Its 13th property and its first 5 star is The Hampshire – a prestigious 350-bedroom hotel, currently under construction in Leicester Square. With beautiful rooms and suites, it will contain an Odeon cinema, restaurant and bar concepts, meeting and event spaces. Says Jasminder Singh, “London offers visitors and the people who live here so much – from entertainment and culture, to architecture and education. I wanted to develop hotels in prime locations to not only take advantage of all that, but to become part of the fabric of the city itself.”

Axiom Stone Solicitor Axiom Stone is a successful legal practice based in London (Edgware, Middlesex & Mayfair).They represent clients both nationally and internationally and provide legal solutions to a myriad of issues. Axiom Stone continues to grow from strength to strength. Indeed, have now becoming the preferred legal partner to many businesses within London, across the UK and internationally. Their friendly, yet robust approach allows them to innovatively provide strong legal advice and representation in numerous fields including litigation, property, corporate and commercial. They also specialise in legal matters related to the healthcare industry and provide a niche service to entrepreneurs and medium to large sized businesses.



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Our Sponsors Sow & Reap Sow & Reap was established in 2004 and has a track record sourcing, refurbishing, developing, renting and selling properties in central London for its clients. The company has recently evolved into land acquisition - assembling an excellent team to gain planning permission for its investors. In August 2017, for example, Sow & Reap was given the go ahead for the development of 92 apartments in North London. The Sow & Reap team include architects, an array of specialist consultants and planning experts as well as political lobbyists. Thus, in addition to its central London property experience, Sow & Reap is able to add tremendous value for its clients finding and developing land. The largest profits margins are often made at the land stage of a deal, so this expertise is very valuable to investors seeking strong returns.

ICICI Bank UK Plc ICICI Bank UK Plc was established in 2003 as a wholly owned subsidiary of ICICI Bank Limited, India. Over the one-andhalf decade, the Bank has emerged as one of the leading banks for Asian community in the UK by combining its branch network, relationship and service approach with advanced digital platform. Apart from facilitating the SMEs and India UK trade and investment corridor, the Bank also facilitates a stronger India-UK person-to-person relationship by focusing on professionals and students from India who come to work or study in the UK. ICICI Bank UK Plc has recently launched its major digital initiative. Now a UK Bank Account can be opened within 10 minutes through ICICI Bank UK iMobile App. The Bank has six branches in the UK at Tower Hill, Wembley, East Ham and Southall in London and Manchester and Birmingham in the Midlands. The Bank also has a branch in Germany which is focused on the Bank’s European business.

Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force is thrilled to support the 19th Asian Achievement Awards. As a diverse and fully inclusive employer we understand how important it is to celebrate extraordinary people and their achievements. We wish all the very best of luck to all the nominees. Our team are very much looking forward to meeting them and honouring their contributions to society.

Ragamama Ragasaan Established in 1997, Ragamama was set up specializing in catering. By popular demand, the company then became increasingly involved in the planning, logistics and management of large parties and corporate events. It continued to thrive and rapidly built a reputation within the industry for being innovative, professional and entirely flexible. Reacting immediately to individual client requirements and a constant striving for perfection resulted in the success and growth of the company. By 2005, the company rebranded itself and became Ragamama Ragasaan Caterers and Event Management. During these years, the company has catered and managed many events, from corporate functions to VIP parties, product launches to conferences, house warming parties to charity events, weddings to birthdays.



London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Asian Business Association Global Dinner Rory Bremner, the UK's leading comedy and satirical impressionist will speak at the dinner on Wednesday 6 November from 6.30pm - 11.00pm at The Berkeley (https://www.the-berkeley.co.uk) Co-sponsored by Lloyds Bank and supported by Asian Voice, the ABA Dinner is the premier gathering in the Asian business calendar, bringing together guests from a range of industries and is open to Asian and non-Asian businesses. Up to 200 guests will attend this prestigious evening to rub shoulders with key figures from business, central and local government, arts and media, high commissioners, life peers and top Asian entrepreneurs. The occasion provides a perfect and unique way to entertain colleagues or clients. Tables of ten are available as well as individual places. For more information go to www.londonchamber.co.uk/events or Call Harshad Kothari on 07956 334162 for further details.



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he use of the word 'inclusive' indicates the notion that entrepreneurship is open and meant for all and not just for those who are privileged. Millions of people globally take complex decisions- to find new innovative solutions, to manage risk, and collaborate with others, but it is often to just sail through their day to day lives. However the problems and risks they face when trying to make the jump from survival to a long-term sustainability are reportedly, proportionally, far greater than just those involved in launching a new company on the stock exchange. ‘Inclusive entrepreneurship’ is about supporting entrepreneurs from varied backgrounds by creating a genuinely level playing field. This involves understanding and then overcoming the barriers faced by different people in different places. It is about unleashing the creative potential that people have within them. As we know, diversity and inclusivity are not one and the same thing, but they are complimentary to each other. Forbes reported that according to NPR’s new released study "How I Built This," in ‘The Secret Lives of Entrepreneurs’, it has been noted that despite all the struggles, hindrances and low likelihood of success, 93% of entrepreneurs ultimately believe that their journey has been worth




it. But at the same time, women or people of ethnic background report significant inequities when it comes to entrepreneurship. 41% of women experience gender bias as an entrepreneur, whereas 33% of women from ethnic background experience racial bias. In fact, 20% of women entrepreneurs feel obligated to charge less than their male equivalents to acquire and keep clients. Women also report undervaluing themselves, as they experience the imposter syndrome. Professor Binna Kandola, co-founder and senior partner at Pearn Kandola told us, “Imposter syndrome is the belief that you are less capable than those around you, that your success is the result of luck or other external factors and that you will be discovered as a fraudster. It’s a term that has been growing in both awareness and understanding over the past few years.” With less access to traditional banking benefits or even easy investments, minority and womenowned businesses are less likely to have the capital to fund for future growth. Not only does this make their journey harder, it also discourages people from even starting. Nish Kotecha, Chairman and Cofounder of Finboot, and a Board

member of the London Chamber of Commerce told the Asian Achievers Awards, “Diversity at all levels is a sign of strength for a business. The notion that you can be successful over the long term by operating with a Board and Management team that does not reflect the composition of your market for your product or service is a fallacy.” Supriyo Chaudhuri, an education entrepreneur, with cross-sectoral experience, told how his ethnicity is often taken as a ‘benchmark’ for ‘preconceived’ notion of expertise. “There is a strange exclusive factor and stereotyping. As someone of Indian background, I am expected not to have any knowledge on any other nation such as Africa or China. But this is not the perception of my European or American colleagues. Since in the developing world ethnicity is fragmented, Indians are almost not allowed to have an opinion other than on India. “However, while companies with inclusivity and diversity mandates still have preferences, I feel technology as an industry is much more universal, diverse and inclusive. But then there is the issue of stereotyping. As an Indianorigin man, I am expected to be a specialist on technical stuff- like repairing a laptop, while that is not even my expertise!”

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