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want to send my very best wishes to everyone taking part in the Asian Achievers Awards.

This is a celebration of the enormous contribution British Asians make to our country. We see their success in sports, in enterprise and the running of multimillion-pound businesses, media, public services and our Armed Forces. I want to congratulate all the nominees and winners who are here tonight. I hope you all have a fantastic evening.

Rt Hon Theresa May, MP Prime Minster of the United Kingdom

ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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Whatever brings you to London, Edwardian Hotels London puts you within walkin i g distance of it. We have 12 luxury boutique hotels, in the most prestigious areas of the city. Each has its own distinc tive charac ter and atmosphere. And everyone you meet here is committed to making even the shor test stay last long in the memory.

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ondon’s diversity is one of our greatest assets. The contribution of Asian communities to arts, culture, business and trade is a big part of what makes London the greatest city in the world. I would like to congratulate the nominees and winners of this year’s Asian Achievers Awards. Thank you for your inspirational work in ensuring London is open for ideas, creativity and inclusion. And thank you for making a difference to our city and its people every single day. Rt Hon Sadiq Khan Mayor of London



ow in its 16th year, the Asian Achievers Awards ongoing endeavour to recognise and encourage excellence has been invaluable. British Asians continue to make huge contributions to numerous fields in the UK. Their hard work and drive have enabled them to turn adversity into opportunity. I regularly meet British Asians whose entrepreneurial spirit and drive 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 editors, and to the staff of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, now in their 45th year, 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. Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP

ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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sian Achievers awards began as our humble effort to recognise talented and successful individuals within the British Asian community, irrespective of their nationality, background or religion. The journey began with retailers and small to medium scale entrepreneurs. I was going through the list of those who are short listed this time and the previous year's winners and short listed candidates and, I must say, the range of our entrepreneurship, professionalism as well as the deep desire to embark and climb unventured peaks is extremely encouraging to say the least. I hail from the farmers' community and Patels in Gujarat were so renowned as successful farmers that rajahs, nawabs and even the East India company welcomed them eagerly all over the country. Agricultural success depends on the selection of the right soil, seeds, and many more skills aside from suitable environmental factors like water levels, insolation etc. Similarly, the success of British Asians in Great Britain has benefitted from the positive environment available here and the British values of fairness, rule of law and tolerance.. We live in an age where standards are ever more important and the bars are increasing continuously. Whatever-be the enterprise, professionalism is of pivotal importance. As such, the Awards have now subtly changed from solely celebrating success to celebrating excellence and professionalism as well. I salute both the nominated and shortlisted nominees, and I am most grateful to the high calibre panel of judges for their help. I also accept that there are many, many more out there, throughout the length and breadth of Britain, who deserve similar accolades and salutations. Our main thrust in ABPL was, and is, to inspire, energise and in a modest way to empower that human trait of participation and excellence. With the help of our sponsors, supporters and well-wishers, we have attempted our utmost so far. Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar are blessed to have our readers and your support. Once again I am most grateful to the readers, subscribers, writers, advertisers, as well as ABPL team members one and all. Yours sincerely

CB Patel Publisher / Editor

ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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Attracting, empowering and developing effective leaders EY Partner, Sanjay Bhandari, explains the importance of developing professionals in a fast paced, global market.

EY is proud to support the Asian Achievers Awards 2016 and to celebrate the success of the economic contribution of this vibrant group to the global economy. A global professional services firm with over 230,000 people in 152 countries, EY delivers assurance, advisory, tax and transaction services worldwide. Our clients tell us that to be successful in the global market place, they need to be agile and able to respond to fast paced change. They also need diverse leaders and advisers, who are culturally fluent and forward looking. It is a commercial imperative for us to develop the next generation of professionals, who are able to respond to those demands and deliver exceptional client service. We start with a clear employee value proposition: we commit to our people that ‘whenever you join, however long you stay, the exceptional experience of EY will last a lifetime’. Here in the UK we do that by focusing on four ambitions.

Attracting great people

We work hard to access diverse talent at all levels, from school leavers and graduates to experienced professionals. In fact in 2015 we boldly removed academic entry criteria from our student recruitment process, welcoming more applications and opening up access to the profession. We employ initiatives, such as Smart Futures, which supports young people with known barriers to employment, and actively seek to attract diverse talent across the firm.

Empowering people to perform at their best

Our brand is underpinned by our values and these inform everything our people do. Values and trust are at the heart of professionalism and we trust our people to deliver great work for our clients, guided by these foundations. We empower our people at all levels of organisation to decide how, when and where they work, so they meet their personal and professional goals.

Creating an inclusive environment

Diverse teams are more effective than homogenous teams when managed by inclusive leaders. We invest in building the inclusive leadership skills of our people, which we believe is the ‘game changer’. Last year we rolled out ‘inclusive leadership training’ to over 2000 of the professionals in

Sanjay Bhandari Partner, EY

our business, helping to further develop a working environment at EY where difference is not only valued but embraced. We build inclusion into all our business processes and use robust data to ensure outcomes are equitable for employees. This means that not only do we retain our diverse talent, but we also develop professionals who bring different perspectives to our clients’ challenges, enhancing innovation and ensuring we deliver first class service.

Developing effective leaders

Our professionals are developed through great coaching and experiences alongside formal learning. We differentially invest in people with the highest potential and accelerate their career progression, through access to global clients and assignments across different cultures and sectors. Our award winning BME Leadership Programme and CareerWatch sponsorship programme (which pairs talented female or BME talent at mid-career level, with a senior sponsor to actively help them manage their careers to the next level) contribute to success. So there is much to be proud of; BME representation in our partnership has increased from 3% to 8% since 2012 and we are developing and retaining our diverse talent more successfully than ever. But, there is still much more to do. We believe the next decade will see us close the gaps. We need to understand more about the particular challenge of our Asian professionals. Although a recent report positioned us first out of the ten largest accountancy firms in the UK, in terms of BME representation among partners, we are committed to doing more. Our relationship with the Asian Achievers Awards is part of that commitment to seek understanding and engage inclusively. We are delighted to sponsor these awards again tonight and warmly congratulate every nominee and the winners tonight. ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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Panel of Judges

Nishma Robb Head of Commercial Marketing, Google UK Nishma Robb is the Head of Commercial Marketing at Google and YouTube. Her responsibility is marketing for Google, YouTube, and DoubleClick to UK's marketing and agency communities. Hailing from an advertising career that precedes digital, Nishma is a digital marketing veteran drawing from the experience of working with media owners and advertising agencies. Before Google, Nishma was Chief Client Officer at Dentsu Aegis’ digital specialist agency - iProspect and earlier in her career, was Managing Director of Daily Mailowned Teletext Holidays. Nishma is a previous winner of Asian Women of Achievement Business Woman of the Year and was once named one of Media Week’s Top 30 under 30. As leader of the UK’s Women@Google’s community initiative, Nishma is on a mission to help inspire girls and women entrepreneurs with the magic of technology. San Gunapala

Audit Partner at EY San has been with Ernst & Young UK since 1999 and became an Audit Partner in 2014. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He holds a Master's degree in Engineering from Warwick University. San specialises in auditing listed multinationals. Audit clients include – BP, Pennon Group, Ferrexpo, Kaz Minerals, Hochschild, Verizon, and BlackBerry. He is also an IFRS specialist with significant experience in resolving complex technical accounting matters. He was part of the team that audited BP’s IFRS conversion. He has worked on several high profile public transactions, including IPOs, bond offerings, and Class 1 acquisitions. He worked on the Ferrexpo IPO and Hochschild bond offering industry experience through a one year secondment to Bunzl plc as its Head of Group Reporting. He actively supports the firm’s audit quality agenda. He is a global Audit Quality Reviewer and has supported delivery of this year’s Partner audit quality summit. Govind Shahi

Business Head at IndiaCast - IndiaCast Media With over 20 years media experience, Govind Shahi is an established media professional based in London. He is currently heading the Viacom18 UK business in Europe and the Americas, where the network has seen significant progress namely being the number one network in the free-to-air market in the UK, with respect to the South Asian viewership and revenues. By launching a sister channel (Rishtey TV) and breaking the norm of moving Colors to the free-to-air mode, risking subscription revenues, he, in fact, helped drive up the revenues close to 10-fold for the network in Europe. Govind continues to innovate, most recently launching Rishtey on Freeview. There is always a first which is credited to him. On a personal front, Govind is a doting father, a keen badminton player and occasionally dabbles in the kitchen over weekend trying new recipes alongside his wife.

Shaliesh Vara MP

Member of Parliament for North West Cambridgeshire Shailesh Vara was elected to Parliament in 2005 and is a former Justice Minister and Minister in the Department for Work and Pensions. Previously he also served as a Government Whip and when the Conservatives were in opposition he was Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons. Shailesh is a former Chairman of the Conservative Parliamentary Friends of India Group and also a former Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party. Prior to entering Parliament, Shailesh qualified as a solicitor and practised in the City of London. In 2014 Shailesh was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the Indian Government in recognition of his work in the field of public service and promoting ties between India and the UK. Vana Koutsomitis

Co-Founder of DatePlay & Apprentice 2015 Runner-up In 2015 Vana was the runner-up on BBC 1’s The Apprentice. Vana is passionate about entrepreneurship and startups. Vana is an advisor for Alexa Sofia accessories, a New York-based company that produces 100% silk scarves. Vana is also the Co-founder of DatePlay, a dating app where you play games in order to meet your match. Vana holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in New York and a Master's in Business Administration from Oxford University. She speaks five languages – Spanish, Greek, French, Mandarin, and English. Ronnie Irani

Former England Cricketer Ronnie Irani is a former England cricketer who spent most of his career at Essex County Cricket Club, latterly as captain, after starting at Lancashire. He played only three Tests for England, with decidedly mixed success, but found a niche in One Day Internationals, where he gained much praise for his performances. Irani was a genuine all-rounder until a knee injury in 2003 forced him to stop bowling and play as a specialist batsman. The recurring nature of this injury forced Irani to retire from first-class cricket in June 2007. At Essex, Irani helped bringing in promising players such as Alastair Cook (England Captain) and Ravinder Bopara (England Player) as well as winning two major One Day titles. Professionally he scored over 20,000 runs and took more than 650 wickets during his career. Nikhil Rathi

Chief Executive Officer, London Stock Exchange plc & Director of International Development Nikhil joined LSEG as the CEO in September 2015 from the UK Treasury, where he held a number of senior positions over an 11 year period. Most recently he was the Director of the Financial Services Group, representing the UK Government’s financial services interests in the EU and internationally. He was the UK representative on the EU Financial Services Committee. Prior to that, he was Head of the Financial Stability unit, overseeing a number of the UK’s financial stability interventions during the crisis. Nikhil also served as Private Secretary to the UK Prime Minister for three years from 2005 to 2008.

ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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Comperes arrah Storr was appointed Editor of Cosmopolitan UK in July 2015. Since taking the role, she has led the magazine through a dramatic new look and introduced unique content in it. As seen in the latest round of ABC figures, Farrah’s makeover has led the magazine to successfully grow its circulation by 57% yearon-year. Previously Storr was the launch Editor for Women’s Health magazine. Under her tenure, Women’s Health had been the most successful women’s magazine launch of the last decade. It had recorded six consecutive increases in its ABC circulation figures. Prior to that, she was Features Director of Marie Claire in Australia and Deputy Features Editor of Glamour UK. She began her career as Features Assistant at Woman & Home, followed by Features Writer at Good Housekeeping. She regularly contributes to broadsheet newspapers and television on a wide range of women’s issues.


Farrah Storr itin Ganatra, has had a long career in the theatre having performed with the Royal shakespeare company in Les Enfants Du Paridis and the National theatres production of Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. And he's also worked with Oscar winning director Sam Mendes in the Donmar Warehouses production of To The Green Fields Beyond. He is known internationally as Prince Pondicherry in the Tim Burton film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He also appears in the Gurinder Chada film Bride and Prejudice as Kholi Saab and The Mistress of Spices as Haroun, and Dev Raja in Mumbai Calling. He also appeared in the first ever iPod commercial. Ganatra also appeared in an episode of The Catherine Tate Show, as Joanie Taylor's daughter's partner. Other appearances include the TV show Jane Hall, the CBBC television show Gina's Laughing Gear, a character in Meet the Magoons playing himself, a semi lead role as Rez, brother of main character Shifty, in the 2008 British cult film Shifty about a Muslim crack-cocaine dealer, and Martin Soper in Twenty Twelve. He also appeared in Being April with Pauline Quirkeplaying Sinil. Currently he best know for the loveable postman Masood Ahmed on Eastenders.


Nitin Ganatra ASIAN ACHIEVERS ACHIEVERS AWARDS AWARDS 2016 2016 ASIAN AsianVoice Voice&&Gujarat GujaratSamachar Samachar Asian


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Achievement in Media, Arts and Culture

Irvine Iqbal, Actor

The Finalists

Following a career of 16 years, Irvine Iqbal is the only British Asian actor to have performed in all three British Asian musicals in the West End. This includes Bombay Dreams, The Far Pavilions and Bend it like Beckham. After completing a BA (Hons) Degree in drama, film & TV, Irvine secured a place at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music under professor Mary Hammond and studied singing. On television, Irvine has played roles in Doctors,

EastEnders, Casualty and featured as a main character on The Bill. In 2011, Irvine worked with David Walliams on David Walliams Live in the West End and created the role of Raj. Irvine has studied postgraduate in Law at BBP Law school and completed a Masters in Business (MBA) at Westminster Business School. Irvine is currently playing the principal part of The Sultan in Disney's Aladdin at The Prince Edward Theatre, West End, London.--

Janan Ganesh is a British journalist, author and political commentator. Ganesh is the principal political columnist for the Financial Times and regularly appears on the BBC show, Sunday Politics. Ganesh attended Stanley Technical School for Boys, before he read Politics at Warwick University, graduating with the best marks in his year. Ganesh was active in Labour Students, the student wing of the Labour Party, having been

inspired to join when he was 19 during Tony Blair’s annual Labour Party Conference speech. Ganesh opted not to attend his local constituency Labour Party meetings as they were “too dominated by Trots”. For two years he was a researcher at the Policy Exchange, a Westminster-based think tank, and for five years he was the political correspondent for The Economist. Ganesh writes columns about British politics for the Financial Times.

Janan Ganesh, Financial Times Columnist

The Singh Twins, Contemporary Painters

London-born twin sisters Dr Amrit Singh MBE and Dr Rabindra Singh MBE are contemporary British artists of international standing. Their award winning paintings have been acknowledged as constituting a unique genre in British Art and for initiating a new movement in the revival of the Indian miniature tradition within modern art practice. Describing their work as Past - Modern (as opposed to Post Modern), their work challenges existing stereotypes and redefines the generally accepted, narrow perceptions of heritage and identity in art and society. Combining elements

from Western and Eastern aesthetics they assert the value of traditional and non-European art forms to the continuing development of Contemporary Art practice. They explore cultural, social and political issues of global significance within a highly decorative, often witty and symbolic style. They have exhibited in some of Britain’s most prestigious art venues. Their work has also toured to Museums and Galleries around the world. The Singh Twins’ recent projects include a portrait of Maharaja Duleep Singh and a collaboration with Indian Fashion Designer, Tarun Tahiliani, who’s 2015 Spring Summer Collection is inspired by their artwork.

Romesh Ranganathan, Stand-up Comedian Since quitting his career as a maths teacher, Romesh Ranganathan has gone on to make a real name for himself. The last few years have been incredible for him with his critically acclaimed Edinburgh Festival show, ‘Rom Wasn’t Built In A Day.’ It was nominated for the prestigious Edinburgh Fosters Best Show Award in August 2014. His festival debut ‘Rom-Com’ was nominated for the coveted ‘Best Newcomer Award 2013’. Romesh became a regular on BBC2’s ‘Apprentice: You’re Fired’; ITV1’s ‘Play To The

Whistle’ and BBC1’s ‘Jack Dee’s HelpDesk’ as well as hosting his very own six-part series ‘Asian Provocateur’ for the BBC. The series saw his mum sending him off to Sri Lanka in search of his roots – a journey she always hoped he would make. Romesh was invited to perform at The Royal Variety in front of His Majesty Prince Harry at the Royal Albert Hall which aired in December 2015. Alongside his stand-up career, Romesh is also an actor having performed in several hit sitcoms. ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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Achievement in Community Service The Finalists

Prem Goyal OBE, CEO - Global Markets Consultants After working for financial institutions in the US, the UK, Japan and Switzerland, Prem Goyal launched Global Markets Consultants in 2012. Global Markets Consultants is a management consultancy firm whose expertise encompasses front to back as well as technology aspects of OTC Derivatives, including Interest Rate and Credit Derivatives, Structured Products, Equities, Commodities and Cross-Asset Products. A great believer in strong communities, he devotes a large amount of time to promoting community cohesion, supporting third sector organisations and serving the community through

civic roles. His many roles include a magistrate, former college governor and a charity trustee. Over the years he has run the London Marathon and London Triathlon to raise money for charities such as MacMillan Cancer Support, Get Kids Going, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Rainbow Children’s Hospice and the British Red Cross. In total, he has raised £150,000 for charity. He has an Executive MBA from The University of Chicago Booth, London; an MBA from UCLA Los Angeles, an MS Engineering from Clarkson University, New York, and a BS Engineering from IIT in India.

Meena Upadhyaya PhD, FRCPath is a distinguished professor (Hon) in the Institute of Cancer Genetics at Cardiff University. She was awarded OBE for her contributions to Medical Genetics and the Welsh Asian Community. Professor Upadhyaya’s research on neurofibromatosis type 1 and muscular dystrophies is internationally renowned. Her work has led to major improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of inherited disorders. She headed the all-Wales Medical Genetics Service’s Research and Development Laboratory and has published over 200 papers in

peer reviewed journals and edited 3 books. Alongside her work at the University, she devotes much of her time to women in the ethnic minority communities. She is the founder and chair of the Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Association (EMWWAA), the Ethnic Minority Women in Welsh Healthcare (EMWWH) and is a Trustee for several charitable organisations in Wales. She also voluntarily coaches children to enter university and is regularly involved in fundraising activities.

Zlakha Ahmed set up the Apna Haq organisation, a Black and ethnic minority women’s domestic violence support organisation 22 years ago. Due to the support provided by Apna Haq, hundreds of women and their children have been able to leave abusive family environments and lead violence-free lives, going on to realise their full potential. Zlakha is involved in local, regional, national and international areas to further the cause of eradicating violence against women. Examples of

these are, influencing the National Children’s Commission on child gangs and grooming and child sexual abuse enquiries. Apna Haq is a member of the national working group that developed the National domestic violence standards for the National Institute of Clinical Excellence. Apna Haq is also a member of the shurah council of WISE and The Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality. This is a global programme, a social network and grassroots social justice movement led by Muslim women.

Khalsa Aid was established in 1999 as an international non-profit aid and relief organization founded on the Sikh Principles of selfless service and universal love. Khalsa Aid is a UK Registered Charity (#1080374) with the UK Charities Commission and also has volunteers in North America & Asia. Khalsa Aid has provided relief assistance to victims of disasters, wars, and other tragic events around the world. Since the formation of Khalsa Aid, it has ventured into many

parts of the world where humanitarian assistance was needed. Its very first mission in 1999 was to provide food and shelter to the refugees on the Albania/Yougoslavia border where thousands of victims of the war in Yugoslavia were taking shelter. Currently Khalsa Aid is assisting the Iraqi & Syrian refugees in the Middle East, supporting 9 orphanages in Haiti with food, South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, installing water pumps in Malawi.

SSSSSSSSMeena Upadhyaya OBE, Cardiff University Professor

SSSSSSSS Zlakha Ahmed, Founder & CEO - Apna Haq

Khalsa Aid, Humanitarian Charity SSSSSSSS

ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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Sports Personality of the year The Finalists

Ryan Raghoo, Paralympian

Ryan Raghoo is a British record holder for the T36 Long Jump, ranked top 10 in the world for his classification. He is the first person in British history to qualify for the Paralympics in the men’s Long Jump. The first time he ever jumped he won a Gold Medal at the World Games representing team England in August 2015. In December 2015 he started working with a Long Jump coach, 3 months later they made sporting history qualifying for the Paralympics in

Harleen Kaur, Martial Arts

Harleen Kaur is an Asian Sports Foundation ambassador and 17-year-old athlete from Bradford. She’s been training in martial arts for 10 years and is a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Karate. She fought in the WMKF British Championships in kickboxing last year winning a gold and bronze medal and also won a silver medal at the World Championships, representing England. Harleen is the first British Asian female to represent WMKF England. She also won the Asian Women of

Myra Nasim, Karate

Myra has been doing Karate since the age of 6. She got interested in the sport through her brother Numan, who went on to represent England twice, and is himself an academic scholar at Harrow. Since then Myra has achieved much. At the age of 10, Myra became the youngest person ever to win 3 British National titles in one year. She has won 53 Gold medals and trophies and is the current English National Champion and British and International champion. Myra is also

Daanyal Spalding, Golf

Birmingham-born Daanyal Spalding grew up on a diet of golf. 2013 was a huge year for this 18year-old golfer, having turned professional in March. Now he is on the road to becoming one of the world's biggest British Asian golfers. By the time Daanyal turned four, he was taking junior lessons at the world famous Belfry Golf Club. It was here that he won his first tournament 6 years later – the 2005 Junior Club Championship. He got to County level when he was about 10 or 11

February 2016. His parents were told he would never walk or talk. He has spent long periods of time in wheelchairs and hospitals with an uncertain future. 20 years ago when he was born, mistakes made by the medical team that delivered him resulted in brain damage and a condition called Cerebral Palsy. He has represented Great Britain at Junior and Senior level, now he is targeting London 2017 and Tokyo 2020.

Achievement Award in sport earlier this year and became the youngest ever winner in the awards history. Harleen spent this summer volunteering with a club called YFC in India, holding selfdefence camps, visiting schools and coaching the youth every evening for 6 weeks. She enjoys giving back to the community and passing on her skills to the younger talent. She hopes to open her own martial arts academy one day in the UK and India.

the youngest person to be sponsored by KickSport and TopTen Sports. Myra owes her success to her coaches, Sensei Navin Patel and Sensei Devini Patel at Ashin-DoKai Karate Club. She has also done 11 TV commercials for some of the biggest names. One of her commercials is currently being shown on TV. She has 3 films as an 'extra' to her credit. All this and she is still ONLY 12!

and has progressed ever since. In 2011, he qualified for the British Open Final Stages, and soon after he was selected for the England Regional Squad. In March 2013 he became a fully-fledged professional Golfer. He made his professional debut at the Jamega Professional Golf Tour at the Burnham and Berrow Golf Course. In between studying, Daanyal aims to compete in more than 25 events this season.

ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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Woman of the Year The Finalists

Joysy John, Chief Industry Officer - Ada, National College for Digital Skills Joysy leads the College’s industry engagement and apprenticeship relationships. Joysy is the founding Trustee of Startup Leadership Program. Most recently, Joysy was Senior Director at EF Education First. Prior to this, she did business development for Emerge Venture Lab, Europe’s first education technology accelerator and advised Level 39, technology incubator in Canary Wharf. Joysy is passionate about education, entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment. She helped launch three education non-profits. She

founded Founders Fit to help people find the right co-founders for their startups. She has a decade of experience working for Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan across Singapore, US and UK. She holds a Computer Engineering (Honours) degree from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and an MBA with Distinction from London Business School where she was the President of the Women in Business Club and a Forte Foundation Scholar.

Manjit K Gill, CEO & Founder - Binti A single parent of 2 for nearly 15 years Manjit managed to amass nearly 20 years of business and has been involved in 7 startups prior to Binti. Binti seeks to empower women by eliminating the social and cultural stigma surrounding menstruation. Her flair for finding opportunities has taken her around the world and she has international experience in the business arena. Her role as a mentor for a business woman in Kenya with the Cherie Blair Foundation led her to start

this project. Her mission is to create a huge social impact whilst generating a sustainable organisation. Providing basic menstrual hygiene solutions and reproductive education for girls and women across the world has become her obsession. She has been nominated for several awards for her work with Binti. She has also been profiled in many notable publications, including The Independent, The Metro and The Times of India.

Manjit Wolstenholme, Chairman - Provident Financial Plc After qualifying as an accountant with Coopers & Lybrand, now Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Manjit served for 13 years with the Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein bank, becoming Co-head for Investment Banking, where she was responsible for managing the division and advising clients. Manjit became an Independent Non-Executive Director at Provident Financial in June 2007 – one of Bradford’s biggest and longest-established companies. She is the only female BAME Chair of an FTSE 100 company. Manjit has champi-

oned diversity measurement across Provident Financial Group and strongly believes UK businesses should integrate equality, diversity and inclusion considerations into everyday business practice. She was a strong lead in the decision for PFG to adopt the National Equality Standard, the first business-led equality and diversity initiative to tackle inequality and promote inclusion in the workplace. Manjit is also a non-executive director of Future plc, the Unite Group plc, CALA Group (Holdings) Limited, and CMC Markets plc.

Rupal Kantaria, COO - Oliver Wyman Rupal is passionate about diversity, women’s empowerment and the power of the corporate sector to create lasting contributions to societies. She has over a decade of experience in financial services strategy consulting, most recently as Chief Operating Officer of Oliver Wyman’s EMEA Insurance Practice. Rupal is the strategic advisor to Oliver Wyman’s Social Impact team, which takes a capabilities-based approach to creative positive social change. She is passionate about access to finance for women, as well as gender

diversity in financial services. She co-chairs Oliver Wyman’s women’s network across 30+ offices globally, leading programmes including executivelevel cross-company mentoring with the 30% Club and speaking at conferences to share bestpractices. Rupal launched KidzForChange, a campaign supporting parents to ignite their children’s social conscience. This year she was listed on Brummell’s 30 Ones to Watch 2016: Rising Stars of the City and as a 2016 Rising Stars Diversity Winner. ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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Uniformed and Civil Service The Finalists

Lt Col Bilal Muhammad Siddique, Army Legal Services Officer Lt Col Siddique has been an Army Legal Services officer for 17 years, qualifying as a barrister in 1996 with an LLM in International Law. He has served worldwide with operational tours in Bosnia, Northern Ireland and twice in Afghanistan, totalling 15 months, interviewing Taliban and negotiating the prosecution of their cases with Afghan authorities. Following this tour, he was awarded The Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the February 2015 Operational Honours and

Awards. He has spent 3 years at the MOD, advising on international agreements with foreign States and providing overseas training to their Armed Forces on International Law and Peace Keeping Missions. Bilal has recently returned to the Service Prosecuting Authority, where he has previously served for 8 years prosecuting serious offences, including murder and rape. A black belt in Taekwondo, Bilal still competes and coaches at a club where one of his two daughters attends.

Mabs Hussain, Chief Superintendent - West Yorkshire Police Born in Girlington, Bradford, Mabs joined West Yorkshire Police in 1996 at the age of 22. Mabs progressed through the Detective ranks as a Sergeant, Inspector and Chief Inspector leading investigations into a range of offences from murder, rape, to robbery and burglary. Aged 38, Mabs became one of the youngest Superintendents and was integral in creating the largest policing district in the country through the merger of 3 policing divisions in Leeds. The ‘change programme’ was unprecedented due to

its size and scale, creating the largest span of command at his rank and the largest policing district outside of London. In February 2016, Mabs was promoted to Chief Superintendent and appointed as the District Commander for Wakefield. As a regional board member for HRH charity ‘Mosaic’ he has created a nationally recognised, regional prison offender mentoring programme for Muslim prisoners which has received national recognition.

Captain Naveed Muhammad MBE, Chair - Armed Forces Muslim Association Major Naveed Muhammad MBE joined the Royal Corps of Signals Army Reserve in December 1987. Commissioned in 2007, he is currently employed as the Army’s National Liaison Officer. He was deployed on operations to the former Yugoslavia in 1996 as part of the Implementation Force and then to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003 and 2010 in support of the UK’s commitment there. Major Muhammad visited Sierra Leone in 2015 during the British military’s deployment to help defeat the deadly Ebola

virus. More recently, he secured two prestigious Race for Opportunity awards. Firstly for recruiting, in his role as Second in Command of the Armed Forces Careers Office in Birmingham and then as Chair of the Armed Forces Muslim Association whose aim is to support personnel in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. For his exemplary service, Major Muhammad was awarded an MBE in the 2016 Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

PC Karmjit Rekhi MBE, Faith Officer - Metropolitan Police PC Karamjit Rekhi is a Faith Officer for the Metropolitan Police Service where she has been the lynchpin of a highly diverse local community. PC Rekhi has worked over the last eight years to improve relations between the Met and communities from different religions across the borough of Hounslow. Karmi, as she is known, has helped people from those communities feel more comfortable approaching police, in many cases breaking down lingering suspicions.

Her efforts were recognised when she was made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. PC Rekhi joined the Met in 1991 and was said to be the second Asian police officer on the force at the time. She served in Sutton and Hounslow before taking up her current role as faith liaison officer for the borough in 2008. She holds regular surgeries at places of worship across Hounslow, where people can approach her for help or advice. ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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Entrepreneur of the Year The Finalists

Harnoop Atkar, CEO - Oakland Primecare Harnoop Atkar is a young entrepreneur who has business interests in sectors that include healthcare, hotels and hospitality. Only 29 years old, he is the CEO of Oakland Primecare, a luxury elderly care home group, which was established in 2014. In July 2016, Harnoop successfully led a deal raising £30 million of investment to support the company’s next phase of growth, which will increase the number of beds from 152 to approximately 800. Harnoop’s key to success is that he

Selva Pankaj, CEO - Regent Group Selva Pankaj is the CEO of Regent Group. The Group was founded as a family business in early 2000 and Selva was involved with the Group as a Non-Executive Director. Simultaneously he held a career as a finance and investment professional working in the investment banking and fund management sector. In 2009, Selva was appointed as CEO of Regent Group. Regent Education Group manages Regent College, Regent College Higher Education, Regent Skills Training, Burlington College, Albany College, Regent Learning

instils the values of treating the elderly with dignity and respect across Oakland. It is for this reason that Harnoop was selected by Healthcare UK to take part in a delegation to China where he represented the UK’s expertise and experience in care home operations. Harnoop is also Director of Equator hotels and The Willows, which is an events and banqueting hall in Fairlop Waters, Essex. Harnoop was formerly a management consultant for EY and PwC in London.

Centres, Regent Nursery School, the Selvanayagam Foundation, STP Property Holdings and Chesterfield Partners. Regent Recruitment Group is a new venture operating in the recruitment sector, primarily focusing on sourcing staff for roles across the education sector. Regent Alliances Group specialises in collaborative partnerships in the UK, EU, US and Asia, forming recruitment links with reputable institutions based in the UK and abroad.

Reshma Sohoni, Founding Partner - Seedcamp Combining technology and business has been Reshma's forte. With degrees in Engineering and Business (UPenn M&T) she has successfully brought together business and technology. She began her career at the height of the dot-com boom, and worked in M&A and venture capital across B2B Software and Internet services businesses in the US and India. With a small helping hand in building MakeMyTrip (NASDAQ) in its formative days, Reshma went to INSEAD and

earned her MBA. She stayed back in Europe to work in Commercial and Marketing Strategy at Vodafone. For Reshma, starting Seedcamp in 2007 was a once in a lifetime opportunity – one that she took with a strong desire to help the European founder realize global success. Reshma brings in all the ingredients essential for business success – technology, business, commercial drive and marketing.

Samir Desai, Co – Founding Director - Funding Circle Co-founder and Director at Funding Circle, he is responsible for driving the company strategy, overseeing the company’s finances and managing the day-to-day operations at Funding Circle. He has previously worked extensively in the financial services sector. Before founding Funding Circle, Samir was an Executive of a private equity investor at Olivant, which offers financial services businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Prior to Olivant, he was a management consultant at BCG advising a number of major UK and global banks and insurers on strategy, new product initia-

tives, and operational efficiency. Funding Circle is the global leading marketplace where investors directly lend to small businesses in the UK, US, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. Small businesses borrow between £5,000 and £1 million, while investors receive high, stable returns for the long-term. Since mid-2010 Funding Circle has facilitated $2.0bn of loans to over 15,000 businesses globally. Investors include over 45,000 individuals, institutional investors, local councils, universities and the UK Government-backed British Business Bank. ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


Ragamama-Global.qxp_A4 Temp 13/03/2015 19:57 Page 1

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Professional of the Year The Finalists

Chitra Bharucha MBE

Chitra Bharucha MBE, FRCPath, FRSA, is a former consultant haematologist and former vice chairman of the BBC Trust. She became the first woman and first South Asian to head the BBC. She was consultant clinical haematologist at Belfast City Hospital between 1981 and 2000, and was deputy director of the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service. She was elected to the General Medical Council in 1999 where she served on a number of panels, including chair of the Fitness to Practise Adjudication Panels. Chitra was on the BBC Broadcasting Council for Northern Ireland until 1999. In April

2001 she was appointed Northern Ireland member of the Independent Television Commission. In April 2002, she was appointed Chair of the Advisory Committee on Animal Feeding Stuffs for the Food Standards Agency, and in 2006 she was appointed Lay Member of the Review Body for Judicial Complaints. She was awarded an MBE in 2008. In October 2006, Chitra was appointed as Vice Chairman of the BBC Trust. Chitra was the Acting BBC Chairman until May 2007. Chitra stood down from her role as Vice Chairman of the Trust on October 31, 2010.

Leena is the Chief Human Resources Officer and sits on the Executive Committee, the senior most decision-making team reporting to Paul Polman, the CEO. While there are 2,575 employees in the HR function, Leena bears overall responsibility for the hiring, training, rewards and remuneration of all Unilever employees worldwide. She also oversees the Diversity and Inclusion agenda for the organisation and has the mandate to shape initiatives and processes that enable the workforce to be truly diverse and inclusive. Leena is the first female and youngest ever CHRO of Unilever. She spearheaded the creation of a world class leadership centre in Singapore

and led the launch of key technology innovations. Prior to this, she undertook a wide range of HR roles in India, and as VP HR South Asia, she led the talent and organisation strategy that was a significant enabler in helping the business deliver its vision. She brought in a number of innovations, including the Career by Choice programme, which helps women who have fallen off the career ladder to re-join the workforce. Since 1992, when she joined Unilever as a trainee, Leena has had many firsts to her credit, from being one of the first women managers to opt for a factory stint to becoming the first woman on HUL’s management committee and its youngest executive director.

Nina is a senior executive in Centrica plc and sits within the top 50 employees of the company with a global team of c.400 staff. In her current role as MD, Centrica Connected Home, she has direct responsibility for one of Centrica’s 2 growth businesses. Nina’s approach to diversity and inclusion is that it cannot be a ‘stand-alone’ initiative – to add value it needs to be an integral part of how they get things done and an output of how they behave. Through her sponsorship of internal employee networks Nina acts as a role model for

BAME employees and provides leadership on gender and BAME initiatives. Nina promotes diversity within Centrica from the top down and believes that diversity within a workforce leads to a successful organisation. She is, therefore, keen to ensure Centrica’s culture and working practices are fit for purpose to attract, retain and develop the best talent – with a specific focus on BAME talent. Earlier in her career, Nina was among the first BAME partners in McKinsey, London.

Jo Sidhu is widely regarded as a ‘superlative’ leading Counsel in serious criminal cases with extensive experience in terrorism, homicide and large scale conspiracies involving fraud, drug trafficking and high-value robberies. Jo has been involved with numerous high profile cases, including three of the largest ever terrorist plots (ricin poison, gas limos/dirty bomb and the airline liquid explosives); £40m Graff dia-

monds robbery; Goldman Sachs secretary (theft of £4m); £50m cocaine ‘bling bling’ gang; and £100m VAT diversion fraud. Ranked as a leading criminal QC in the UK by Legal 500 in 2015 and described as having “a keen eye for detail and a vast knowledge of the law”, and in previous years called “brilliant” and “superlative”.

Leena Nair, Chief HR Officer - Unilever

Nina Bhatia, Senior Executive – Centrica

Jo Sidhu QC, Barrister & President of the Society of Asian Lawyers

ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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Business Person of the year The Finalists

Dr Nikesh Kotecha, CEO - Morningside Pharmaceuticals As a young man, Dr Nikesh Kotecha's dream was to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible throughout the world. He established Morningside Pharmaceuticals Ltd from his garage in Welwyn Garden City with his wife Moni in 1991. Today it supplies an extensive range of MHRA licensed generic medicines to NHS Trusts, wholesalers and pharmacies. Nik is an ambassador of UKTI Catalyst; a governmental body which advises businesses on developing international trade. He is also involved in many working groups across the East Midlands, such as the Life Sciences committee within the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). He is

also the Chair of the International Trade Steering Group for the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, which develops policies and strategies to promote exports from the region. Nik is a board member of the British Generics Manufacturers' Association (BGMA), an organization of CEOs from all the main manufacturers of generic pharmaceutical, who provide a voice for the industry. He is a key member of a group of 5 for the Leicester University Philanthropy Board, to help raise £10m for the new Medical School in Leicester. Nik is also actively involved in many charities, community projects and sponsorship.

Arjun Waney, Cutting Edge Restaurateur & Investor Arjun Waney is probably the most respected restaurant investor in Britain. Some of his success stories include the prestigious Zuma, Petite Maison, Coya and the Arts Club in London. He has also established, successfully, restaurants in Miami, Dubai, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Bangkok. Arjun Waney earned outstanding success initially in investment management and the retail business with Pier 1Imports Inc in the


Arjun is also the chairman of Argent Fund Management. Not only is Arjun a successful businessman, he is also involved in philanthropy. The Savitri Waney Charitable Trust, named after his mother, tries to combat malnutrition in India with the introduction of “an egg a day” to villagers. One of his grandchildren is behind this scheme, which he helps financially and logistically.

Harish Sodha, Executive Chairman – Diversity Travel Harish Sodha is the majority shareholder and one of the three founders of Diversity Travel. In 2013, under Harish’s guidance, Diversity Travel was the only company in the industry handpicked by the UK Government to join Accelerate 250, a group of 250 high-growth companies bucking the trend of the recession to become significant contributors to UK job creation. The 'Difference' is celebrated at Diversity Travel because Harish believes all minorities should be championed and encouraged, whether this relates to gender, ethnicity or

religion. This is represented across the business where staff speak over 20 languages, come from 15 nationalities and there is a 45:55 male to female gender split. Different sexual orientations, religious and political beliefs are represented at all levels of the organisation and the Board is 40% BAME, 20% female and 40% LGBT. Diversity Travel has won numerous awards, including Best Travel Management Company 2014 at The Business Travel Awards and Kenya Airways’ Charity Agency of the Year Award 2015.

Rakesh Sharma, Chief Executive - Ultra Electronics Rakesh is responsible for, approximately, 5,500 people in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, India and China. Promoted purely on merit, he became the first Asian M&A Director. Under his leadership, the company appointed the first black President, the first Hispanic COO and the first black female VP. Ultra operates in four markets – Defence & Aerospace, Cyber Security & Surveillance, Transport and Energy. Ultra has grown leaps and bounds during Rakesh’s tenure.

During a conversation with Rakesh, Lord Mandelson, the then UK Trade Secretary commented that Ultra was the best British engineering company that he had come across. When Rakesh became Chief Executive he was determined to make Ultra more visible within the UK Government with which he engages regularly. He also engages regularly with the US and the Australian governments. ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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● Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar have been serving the community for the last 4 decades. We have 25,000 paid subscribers and around 5,000 copies are sold every week through retail outlets. Our readership exceeds 200,000. ● 64 pages of comprehensive and unique coverage of news keeps you abreast of what’s happening in UK, India, Asia and the world. ● Our popular periodic theme-based special issues are unmatched by any other title in the market and you get them free of charge! ● We are committed to a number of unique community events which receive wide publicity in out titles. ● Subscribe Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar. You will fall for them. Editor/Publisher: CB Patel Managing Editor: Kokila Patel Associate Editor: Rupanjana Dutta News Editor: Kamal Rao Deputy Editor: Anand Pillai Chief Operating Officer: L. George Advertising Manager: Kishor Parmar Senior Business Development Manager: Rovin J George Head - New Projects & Business Development: Cecil Soans Advertising Sales Executive: Rintu Alex Business Development Manager: Urja Patel Journalist & Marketing Coordinator: Aaditya Kaza Graphic Designers: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Customer Service: Ragini Nayak

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Programme 7.30PM 7.32PM 7.36PM

Toastmaster on stage Welcome Speech by L George, COO, Asian Business Publications Ltd COMPERES on stage

7.37PM 7.46PM 7.55PM 7.58PM Award 1 Award 2 Award 3 Award 4 Award 5 Award 6 8.16PM 8.25PM 9:00PM 10:00PM

Entertainment - 1 - Epika Dance Speech by Chief Guest Speech by Nishma Robb, Chairman of the judging panel. Award Ceremony Begins AAA Gold Award for Achievement in Media, Arts & Culture AAA Gold Award for Achievement in Community Service AAA Gold Award for Sports Personality of the Year AAA Gold Award for Women of the Year AAA Gold Award for Uniformed & Civil Services AAA Gold Award for Entrepreneur of the Year Presentation by the charity / Speech by Tony Matharu Auctions by Mr Peter Scrivener - CEO CLAS International Dinner Second Half of the Awards ceremony

10.05PM 10.18PM 10. 23PM 10.25PM 10.34PM

ENTERTAINMENT - 2 Fashion Show - Soltee by Sulochana Monga Videos messages Speech by CB Patel Publisher / Editor Video / Speech by Sanjay Bhandari Partner EY Acknowledgments by Rovin George

10:39PM 10.45PM Award 7 Award 8 Award 9 Award 10 10.55PM 11:00PM 11:00PM 01:00AM

ENTERTAINMENT - 3 - Tumbellina - Duo Hoop act Compere’s announce commencement of rest of the awards AAA Platinum Award for Business Person of the Year AAA Gold Award for Professional of the Year AAA Platinum Award for Lifetime Achievement Editors Award(S) Charity Raffle by CB End of the programme ASIAN ACHIEVERS After party Carriages The people’s choice awards



Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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Charity Auctioneer for the Evening Peter Scrivener, CEO Klas International

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The people’s choice awards

Normalising Psychology


op psychiatrist and Professor of International Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Vikram, has revolutionised the way we approach mental health care, progressively redefining his profession. Also the Founder and Co-Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health, with TIME Magazine naming him among the top 100 most influential people in 2015, his ground-breaking research proves that “mental health interventions for a range of mental disorders can be effectively given by appropriately trained and supervised frontline workers who had no prior professional expertise in the area.” The findings are so exemplary because they not only combat the shortage of psychiatric aid in a particular location, but raise the underrepresented profile of psychology in a powerful vein. Top psychiatrist and Professor of International Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Vikram, has revolutionised the way we approach mental health care, progressively redefining his profession. Also the Founder and Co-Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health, with TIME Magazine naming him among the top 100 most influential people in 2015, his groundbreaking research proves that “mental health interventions for a range of mental disorders can be effectively given by appropriately trained and supervised frontline workers who had no prior professional expertise in the area.” The findings are so exemplary because they not only combat the shortage of psychiatric aid in a particular location, but raise the underrepresented profile of psychology in a powerful vein. There is guaranteed to be someone even ‘in our most intimate social networks,’ he explains in his TED talk, Mental Health for All Involving All, ‘who suffers from a mental illness’ but despite knowing this, together with statistics such as the fact that ‘suicide is one of the leading causes of death in young people, even in developing countries’, roughly 50% of those suffering in the developed world do not receive the treatments they require, while the gap is a whopping 90% in the developing world. The disconnect between awareness and translation comes more deeply from the fact that we as a society don’t value our emotional systems as we do our physical bodies: ‘There are many stories,’ Vikram continues, ‘of hidden shame and discrimination.’ In fact, the Professor told us, “it was the sociological aspect of Psychiatry that attracted me out of all the sciences. Many mental disorders have a direct correlation with the surrounding environment and the pressures, and from an interpersonal standpoint I enjoy working with patients closely.” This, no doubt, attuned him to a method called task shifting, which involves training up local people to cover for 38

ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Vikram Patel, Professor of International Mental Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

the dearth of medical professionals, forming the crux of his incredible research: “After training in some of the finest Britain’s institutions, I came to be based in both India and Africa, and it was during that time that I found a method previously used to diagnose and treat Pneumonia, and deliver babies. I thought: why can’t this socially resourceful method be applied with mental illness? I was deeply moved by the fact that many with mental health disorders were systematically being denied their basic rights to evidence-based care and to a life with dignity which could powerfully transform them.” Under Vikram’s supervision, results gradually revealed that villagers in Uganda as well as ordinary residents in Pakistan and Goa were more than capable of administering incisive therapies such as psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy to positively affect their communities. Now, with the discovery having been translated into the national mental health policy of India and becoming widely accepted practice across the globe, the holistic sentiment transcends more than just international boundaries. Vikram has not only motivated people to come together, finding a way to reach those even in the most understaffed parts of the world, but got everyone to look inside and see that an active emotional landscape was a natural part of us all: “historically, the idea of a secluded mental health asylum has had negative connotations – that of savagery and lowliness - and propagates the mental health stigma today.” In essence, by decreasing the literal distance between a mental health sufferer and the so called ‘normal’ person, Vikram’s work at once dissolves a harmful ideological binary: the notion that those suffering are so adversely different. Indeed, as Vikram added, "we should be taking care of the most basic emotional hygiene: exercising, eating and sleeping well." The fact that anyone has the potential to empathise and connect, and recipients can be effectively healed, celebrates psychology and internal workings as existence we have vibrantly in common. No wonder the chosen acronym for the Professor's medical model is the Hindi noun for beautiful: SUNDAR (Simplify medical jargon, UNpack complex healthcare components, Deliver it where there are no nearby institutions, Affordable human resources, Reallocation of specialists for training candidates). Correcting the bodily/emotional divide at its very core, the great Vikram does not just excel in his sensitive field, but profoundly – ethically – grows it.

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The people’s choice awards

From the land of the Sitar


ot many stories are as fascinating as that of sitar player Anoushka Shankar. Born in London, the daughter of world famous classical musician and sitar player Pandit Ravi Shankar, has been in the limelight since Anoushka discovered who her father was, at the age of seven. “I’m grateful for my multi-cultural upbringing, not just living in three continents but also continuously travelling, first with my father and then alone. It’s opened my mind in ways I can’t describe,” says Shankar. When half sisters Norah and Anoushka met for the first time, everybody wanted to know if they were connected. Anouskha says it was intriguing then. However the 35-year-old sitar player and composer is now warm to any question about her family. She grew up in London, California and Delhi, and now lives in London with husband Joe Wright, who is a director, and two sons Zubin and Mohan. People are keen to learn if she would collaborate with Norah again but currently there aren’t any plans. “Norah sang as a guest on two of my past albums, first on 'Breathing Under Water', which I made with Karsh Kale, and then more extensively on three songs for my album 'Traces of You'. However, hopefully we will both make music for many years to come, so who knows?” Shankar’s latest album, 'Land of Gold', is her most striking work yet. It was written in response to the refugee crisis. She says, “The seeds of 'Land of Gold' originated in the context of the humanitarian plight of Syrian refugees. As I watched this nightmarish trauma unfold, I felt overwhelmed and powerless to alleviate the suffering and injustice taking place as the world looked on. However, like many others, I was painfully aware that while I was physically remote from their harrowing experience, it was impossible for

Anoushka Shankar, Sitar player & Composer


ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

me to deny my emotional connection as a human being. “Land of Gold is the culmination of my journey to the interior, channelling my distress at the situation in a constructive way and exploring the stories of the voiceless and dispossessed. I believe that art can make a difference – it connects us to our hearts, bringing us back to what really matters. Music has the power to speak to the soul.” The album is out now and people are looking forward to her concerts in the Royal Festival Hall, London, and National Concert Hall, Dublin, in October. However, as a famous musician, she does not deny that the gender gap is still rampant in the music industry. Talking about it Anoushka adds, “It’s difficult to close the gender gap when the entire infrastructure surrounding the music industry more easily supports men than women. I’m fortunate to be in a position where, at this point, I have a choice over when to tour and how much to tour. If I were in someone else’s band, however, this wouldn’t have been possible, and I would’ve had to find another job, especially once I had children.” She is satisfied with her career progress, but is she tired of the spotlight? Anoushka tells us, “I’m very grateful for the career and success I’ve had. It takes some navigating, especially if, like me, someone starts very young. In my late-twenties I had to restructure my relationship with my career in a way that kept some parts of me private and helped me to know where my boundaries are. With that in place I’m free to fully enjoy my job, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” If Anoushka would not have been this great a sitarist, what would she have been? “Writing has always been a passion for me, and I’m able to express myself well through that medium. Dance is also something I love deeply. But who knows about alternate realities, really!” she adds with a smile.

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42-Charanjit Singh Gill.qxp_A4 Temp 12/09/2016 11:35 Page 42

Helping Asians get into football


haranjit Gill, or Channa Singh Gill has been Chairman of Southall Football Club since 2010. He is the Founder of “Football for Unity” as well as The Elite Academy. Southall Football Club is one of the oldest in Britain founded in 1871. They are currently members of the Spartan South Midlands Division One. He was born in Singapore, moving to Southall in 1971. His interest in football started when he was young. He became Chairman of the Maesteg Football Club (South Wales) and organised Soccer Clinics in the Far East, promoting Asian youth into football. Channa says, “I believe that football changes people’s lives for the better, especially youth. Some youths need a second chance in life. They may be under-achievers at school but pay more attention to sports like football.” He bemoans the lack of Asians in football. “The aspirations of Asian parents differ from that of other parents. Asians always tell their children to look to the future and prepare for it rather than live in the present. Without early parental encouragement it’s difficult for Asian children to get involved at grassroots level and make a professional football career. “Parents of Asian children are also reluctant to take their children to football clinics and if they do, they tend to drop their children off at the training facility and go, without staying back to support them. However, parents of other ethnic and white children stay back and support their children whilst they attend these training facilities. And these children do acknowledge their parents’ support and encouragement.” But Channa is working to fight that cultural deficit. He’s working with Asian parents to change their attitudes towards children playing and making a career in football.


ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Channa Singh Gill, Chairman, Southall Football Club

“Football can offer various careers. It enables children from various backgrounds and communities to interact and play sportingly together. I want to set up platforms to enable this via charities and other organisations locally, nationally and globally. “There is a need to establish mutual respect, integration and understanding among people, and football is the answer. Parents can be targeted via schools. Schools should be encouraged to link up with people like myself to offer services that they can’t professionally provide.” While Asians may not be much in football, several of them do tend to buy and invest in clubs. “Asians regard themselves as ‘Born Businessmen’ and football has changed over the years to become more of a business organisation. This is due to the huge money that is involved in the game. The club shop is more than selling shirts – it’s on a par with the largest of stores selling and marketing merchandise, generating a lot of money. The person at the helm of a club – the Chairman – has to know more than just playing football. He has to have the skills and knowledge of an accountant, lawyer and architect.” He says Asians see it as a way of giving back to the community. “This is a positive trend that will help football reach out to a newer and wider audience – Asians – and will hopefully encourage more Asian participation in football. These new owners know the Asian mentality towards football and will work to promote the game in the Asian community. Asians bring additional skills, contacts and knowledge when they buy a club and that could help the football club do well both on and off the field. Asian club owners can be role models for Asians. They can promote all that is good about being an Asian – loyalty, skills, community spirit and that allimportant winning attitude.”

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44-Siraj Singh-New.qxp_A4 Temp 09/09/2016 19:54 Page 44

The people’s choice awards

An Inspiring Role Model


orn into the hotel world, in Ascot, Surrey, 30year-old Siraj Singh says she is “very much in the prime of my life”. A mother of 2 adorable girls, the bouncy, glossy and ultra charismatic daughter of Jasminder Singh, Chairman of the hotel chain, Siraj is undoubtedly a wonderful Ambassador for Edwardian Hotels London, and a role model for those seeking to break the proverbial glass ceiling. However, Siraj's ascent to the top rung of the management is a hard earned one. Because advancement within the company is strictly by merit – be it family or Hosts (staff). This is facilitated by excellent training programmes for continuing professional development as well as in-house training for new staff. Used as she was, to her father constantly having business meetings at home, and being around the family hotels, Siraj says she probably was unaware of what was home. “I do remember being 8 or 9 years old, however, and walking around pretending I had a telephone to my ear. I so desperately wanted to be a receptionist,” she says. “I started out working at the hotels – in the housekeeping department, doing bedrooms and bathrooms. The minute I could earn money I was working hard, and it was at that point I learned the value of comfortable shoes! Which were Clarks, by the way,” she adds. Starting out as Director of E-commerce, Siraj now has a combined role as Director of Marketing and E-commerce. “Beginning with our transactional website we pay great attention to the customer journey. For example, at the Bloomsbury Street Hotel which was once the favourite hang-out of Virginia Woolf, we have hosted monthly readings with different authors at the hotel. We are very keen on the publishing heritage and have pages of Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway on display in the lobby,” says Siraj. The company believes that the hospitality experience starts at the time of making a booking. The company offers online check-in as well as a virtual host service called 'Edward', to which guests can send a text about pillows, breakfast or the local area and get a response seconds later, helping them every inch of the way. “We are selling 'sleep' at the end of the day, and the whole bedroom experience has to be perfect. We are in the process of replacing all our mattresses, which are Vi Spring and just divine,” she adds. In the midst of all the ongoing changes is the construction of a huge new hotel right in the middle of Leicester Square. “It is going to be amazing and is being designed by an incredible architect. It's got to be every hotelier's dream to build their hotel from scratch. We have our own in-house design team, of which my sister is a big part. She went to Parsons and has a brilliant eye and talent,” says Siraj.


ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Siraj Singh, Director of Marketing and E-commerce Edwardian Hotels London

The hotel chain is ever keen to give each location its own story and own heritage. In Manchester, the hotel is housed in the iconic Free Trade Hall, site of the Repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, and also the old Bridgewater Hall, where the company had a 10th-anniversary performance of an especially commissioned piece of music by the famed Halle Orchestra. “We look to the future always,” says Siraj. Laying great emphasis on continuing professional development, Edwardian Hotels London has programmes in place as a result of being the first hospitality group to partner with Imperial College Business School. The company has also built an academy known as ED.G.E at its New Providence Wharf property near Canary Wharf. “It is where the new staff do their in-house training. It's where they go to learn how to follow the Edwardian Hotels London way of getting it right,” says Siraj. Rushing to go back home to relieve the nanny and see her husband, Siraj is a generous-spirited, modern young woman thoroughly enjoying her life. And this, despite her hectic role at the helm of the Edwardian Hotels London.

Media HIVE.qxp_A4 Temp 06/09/2016 17:24 Page 1

Media Hive is i proud o to be the official P PR Par tner f or the Asian n Achie vers Awar ds

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46-Ren Kapur.qxp_A4 Temp 12/09/2016 11:31 Page 46

The people’s choice awards

A Force to Reckon With


t is fitting that CEO and Founder, Ren, should name her start-ups support company X-Forces, because what they do is immitigably heroic. Turning the light on the very fringes of the nation, Kapur’s corporate not only specialises in helping ex-military personnel and war widows to re-integrate into civic society, but makes sure that they will actively thrive. “Everyone has an element of grit within them,” explained the experienced sales and marketing professional, and recent recipient of an MBE, “but having the confidence to express it and see it through – that’s what makes the difference. That’s where X-Forces and my entrepreneurial expertise come in. We provide a concrete way of nurturing and investing in the talents of an often neglected part of the community, by providing the financial backing and longterm advisory care. Let me tell you, meeting a war veteran face to face and seeing that spark as you help them grow – that will never get old.” To date, Ren and her X-Forces team have effectively taken over 700 SMEs under their wing, from breweries and beekeeping to craft cafes and property managers. “It’s so important to give people a legitimate sense of support from the outside,” the beaming leader continued. “You can achieve success through self-motivation, but you also need to know that other people believe in you; that someone will be there to catch you when you can’t quite make it on your own. The two approaches organically intertwine, and ebb and flow through life.” Indeed, it is their combined sensitivity and pragmatism that makes X-Forces such a successful business model. There is a wonderful sincerity that permeates at a deep human level. “A very touching moment,” Ren told us, “was when one of our ex-military members came to us during an XForces event, and simply said: ‘if this glass of water gets too heavy, I know I can pass it onto Ren and her team'.” Though suffering such a massive rupture to life – a number of them struggling with disorders such as PTSD – X-Forces entrepreneurs can soar once again in an environment of great love and respect. “Communication and community are at the core of what we do,” Ren elaborated, “because that’s what builds personal confidence, which also happens to be the basis of good business. I’m delighted that my work in developing sustainable business strategies, across both the commercial and government sectors, has converged at this powerful point. X-Forces came about after I’d sold the shares for one of my companies, Silent Edge, and was spending time looking into


ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Ren Kapur Founder & CEO, X-Forces

why the rate of repeat offences (57%) in our custodial system was so high. I felt that rehabilitation for ex-offenders was failing because of a heavy social stigma. We are so quick, as a society, to throw people on the scrap heap. These people were being given jobs that didn’t manifest, or provide them a hopeful foundation, and consequently felt even worse. Through that study I found 10% of the armed forces too had touched the prison system and that broke my heart. I have always had an admiration for those serving in the army – I could have easily been the one to go and join when I was 16, and one of my favourite films is ‘Private Benjamin’ – and I just knew it didn’t need to be this way: whether those who have signed up with X-Forces go into self-employment or not, those business skills of initiative, collaboration, sense of purpose and values are going to steady them through their journeys.” And Ren draws from her own emotional evolution too: “Coming from an Asian background, entrepreneurship was in the family and in my DNA – it’s really what saved me. I was the only daughter and the youngest of four, and though I had a vivacious spirit, life threw me some curve balls. I lost my father at the tender age of 15, leaving my mother to work hard to support us, and myself a latchkey kid. I think the professional influence of aptitude and gumption, which later materialised into my own business at age 18, gave me something solid through all the uncertainty.” Engaged and pulsing with life then, trading expert Ren also gave us the model for true valour: rather than being a superficial show of might, or some explosive grand gesture, it’s having deliberate energy and compassion, and most of all, a deep investment in people: “The best thing about X-Forces,” Ren aptly finished, “is our virtuous circle of success – we see others helping each other, and that in turn positively reaffirms us: everybody wins.”

47-Megha Prakash.qxp_A4 Temp 12/09/2016 11:28 Page 47

Rewarding you for keeping fit

The people’s choice awards


ealth and technology are the two most important aspects of our lives in the present day world. Megha Prakash, co-founder of Earthmiles, decided to combine the two to create an app that tracks your fitness levels and rewards you for staying fit. An IIM graduate and ex-banker by profession, Megha launched the company in 2014 and since then has received a great amount of publicity from the likes of Forbes, Tech City, New York Daily News, among others. We spoke to Megha about her motivation, the challenges and obstacles she faced when venturing into this unknown world of startups. Earthmiles has a unique spin on wellness e-commerce. The users shop from their richly curated partners’ network (300 health & fitness vendors in the UK) with a differentiating gamification twist: the ability to earn offers in exchange for “earthmiles” earned by walking, running and cycling (a similar concept to air miles). Megha had her first brush with high growth tech companies when she started her career in M&A and corporate finance advisory in New York in this space. “I really loved the potential of technology to transform lives,” she says. “Earthmiles came about because it seemed that the ability to track data about ourselves was becoming very widely available and it could be harnessed to drive positive behaviour changes. When I discussed with my co-founder Som and realised he too was thinking of starting up, the team was set. We both are health & wellness fanatics and wanted to marry that with technology to create something truly impactful that could change the way we think about our lifestyles.” Megha lived in New York for a while, and Som lived in Hong Kong, but landing up in the UK was great for both as they found that people here love their health & fitness. “We are lucky that we have been so well-received by our UK user base. We are exploring to expand overseas even as we focus on delivering a better and better user experience to all our current users.” But no start-up will ever come without any hiccups, and obstacles are endless. Megha faced the same, yet explained how it has been a learning experience. “In a start-up there are no guiding lights or milestones except the team’s own vision which is quite different from a corporate job with defined roles and responsibilities. So that was an interesting and challenging experience. We had to learn a lot very quickly. It’s also hard to start in a sector where you don’t have prior experience and I didn’t know too

Megha Prakash, Co-Founder & CEO, Earthmiles

much about the dynamics of the health & wellness sector. “There was a steep learning curve at that time which we climbed by talking to lots of people and also learnt from them as we tried to get early supporters for our idea. Bringing together a team when you are a brand that no one knows about can also be hard, but I think we were lucky there and have been able to work with really talented people over time!” They are planning a full scale launch in the US in the next few months, and it has been the big focus area for Earthmiles’ expansion plans. She says, “Our users are almost by definition, tech-curious, interested in their wellbeing and self-improvement and keen to try and discover healthy lifestyle options. They also like a challenge every now and then! We have a lot of users in their 20s and 30s but also a huge number who are older and are enjoying staying fit throughout their lives.” A young entrepreneur, Megha sets an expample for so many people with similar aspirations. What will be her advice to people aiming for the same? “Just my two cents! Looking at my own experience, it has helped working on an idea I feel passionately about and a team that is super talented and motivated. It helps navigate the challenges inherent in start-up life. Those two things might help in your journey.” ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


48-Dr Kartar Lalvani .qxp_A4 Temp 12/09/2016 12:34 Page 48

The people’s choice awards

On the Vitamin for Success


r Kartar Lalvani OBE, FRPharmS, DSc, founded and chairs Vitabiotics, Britain’s number one vitamin company. Personally and through Vitabiotics, Dr Lalvani’s charity and organisational support includes the Wellbeing of Women, National Childbirth Trust, The National Osteoporosis Society, SHINE (Spina Bifida Association), BHF (The British Heart Foundation), National Literacy Trust, The Victoria Cross and George Cross Research and Archive Project, Battersea Dogs Home, BLISS, British Menopause Society, College of Medicine, Diana Award, London Zoo, Garden Bridge and The National Army Museum. Vitabiotics is a market leader with its pioneering vitamin products, many backed by world class clinical trials. Kartar’s philanthropy and entrepreneurship have won him many laurels. After his pharmacy graduation in London, he obtained a doctorate DSc with distinction from the University of Bonn and a fellowship of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society FRPharmS. Also, he was bestowed with an honorary doctorate from Middlesex University, an OBE, and honorary professorship at University of Franche Comté, France. Vitabiotics’ accolades include The Queen’s Award for Innovation in Vitamin Research, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Innovation Awards from DTI, GSK, etc. Energetic and agile Dr Lalvani is still actively involved in his innovations despite creating a multi-million dollar vitamin company, endorsed by fitness fanatic-cum model David Gandy, Sky Sports presenter Kirsty Gallagher, former world champion swimmer Mark Foster and England international cricketer James Anderson. With his interest in history and literature, he had recently authored an authoritative book – “The Making of India: The Untold Story of British Enterprise” (Bloomsbury, 2016). It was the Daily Mail Book of the Week, and Amazon listed it as the best-selling book of Asian history. Dr Lalvani was asked to author a full page on it for The Sunday Times. So what does this living business legend say as he looks back on his lifetime achievement? Initially he wanted to become a doctor, (and he was qualified enough to become one), but later changed his mind when he realised that if he created some novel products it would do the world a power of good. It could help hundreds of thousands of people and he would be more effective that way than treating one person at a time as a medic. So he focussed on medicinal chemistry at Bonn


ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Dr Kartar Lalvani OBE Founder & Chairman, Vitabiotics

University. Dr. Lalvani has some valuable lessons to offer.

Lesson One: Reach as wide a market as possible.

Lesson Two: Dare to be different. An early example was when he received the patent for his first product for mouth ulcers in 1967. Among his various inventions, was the first menopause product for women that was not hormonal. Hormonal products excluded 50% of women buyers, those who had a family history of cancer. Creating a calcium product with magnesium was another first, since science proved that calcium without magnesium could not be utilised fully by the body. An excess of calcium could even lead to kidney stones. Osteocare quickly became a market leader rendering the Boots buyers ecstatic. Pregnacare was also an instant success and accounts for 81% of all pregnancy products sold in the UK. Previously, doctors used to prescribe iron and folic acid for pregnancy, but with the advent of Pregnacare the scene changed compeletely. Lesson Three: Try to Innovate. Finally, the mantra for being a successful businessman, the veteran tycoon says: “Be ambitious, but not overly so. Control your business and personal expenses, so you don’t overspend. Remain determined to succeed. However long it takes, do not get frustrated. Stay optimistic.” On Brexit, Dr Lalvani, quite characteristically, is sanguine about the UK’s economic transition. “Brexit and the currency devaluation are going to affect us. The raw materials we import will cost us more and our export prices in sterling will bring less dollars. They are going to cost us 20% more but we will adjust; we will work hard; we are used to it.”

49-Parmi Dheensa.qxp_A4 Temp 12/09/2016 11:13 Page 49

Turning Disability into Ability


ife is not easy raising a child with disability. But single parent Parmi Dheensa never despaired and the hope kept her going. Today she is not only a champion mom to her disabled son Callum but is also an inspiration to the world for taking up the cause of the disabled at large. In the gorgeous Callum, she found her purpose in life. Callum was born with many complex disabilities, but Parmi ensured his handicap never became her disability to give him the utmost. In fact, it was a photograph of Callum that she took on a California street in 2003 that changed her life completely. The shot shows a cheerful Callum full of life, leaping of the ground with his feet of the floor and arms out wide. “When I saw the photo, I saw how much my son wanted to embrace life, grab every opportunity and live life to the full, this is when I decided to step up and be my son’s champion to make it happen. I promised Callum the world would become more understanding and accept disabilities.” However, Parmi laments that the needs of the disabled are overlooked and their voices go unheard. There is a grave need to change the mindset and attitude of people towards the disabled. The need of the hour is to bring more disability awareness and empathise with the disabled, she says. Today there are over 1 million disabled children and adults in England alone. Callum, who is 17, is her inspiration for Include Me TOO, a charity founded by Parmi that supports Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) disabled children, young people and their families. Parmi says: “The charity developed the first national charter of rights with and for disabled children and young people. It provides activities and support to disabled children and families – including peer and outreach support – and raise disability awareness, besides campaigning for inclusion, equality and rights. We create solutions and try to change people’s attitudes towards the disabled.” What drives her? “It’s about bringing a change in Callum’s community, his friends and many other disabled children and families. This is because they feel very isolated and they are on their own. I want to make sure there is a platform where every disabled child and family feels a sense of belonging and have their wishes come true.” Parmi Dheensa, who is the executive director of the charity, says: “We try to work with local authorities and government and bring to light the issues important for such

The people’s choice awards

Parmi Dheensa, Founder & Executive Director, Include Me TOO

families.” So what are the issues? “We find that lots of BAME disabled families are still not getting access to services, not sure of their rights and entitlements. There is low access to information for parents and carers. We want to make sure such children’s aspirations and expectations are met. We want a different approach to engage with such families, empower them and ensure that the services support such children’s cultural needs. “Also, another barrier is language and communication. It’s not about information being translated or interpreted, it’s about families being able to involve them in students’ assessment and reviews, it’s about understanding the system, understanding how to get even a social worker. The parents and carers’ representation is also few and far between. The community and volutary sector does a huge amount of work with these families but as they are not resourced and funded, they can’t do much, thus making things more difficult for such families,” says Parmi who founded Include Me TOO in 2002. So what’s your recommendation? “We want as many parents and carers to join our cause, become a member of Include Me TOO, share their stories, share their experiences because that give evidence, have their voices heard, and increase the awareness of the service providers,” says Parmi whose parents arrived in England from Punjab, India, in the 60s and settled in the West Midlands. Parmi has over 20 years’ of experience working in disability and diversity sector. She has managed consultations, research projects and shared good practice approaches nationally and internationally. She is an advisor on several national initiatives, a Community Consultant, University Lecturer and Trainer. Her vision is to have a disability friendly inclusive society where these differently abled children don’t feel alone, where they have hope, are able to realise their dreams and achieve what they wish for them in future. She wants the society to be kinder, understanding and accepting. Well, the purpose of life is to have a life of purpose. Needless to say, Parmi Dheensa has one. She is a living proof that everything is possible in life and that a so-called disability is not something that can stand between you and your higher purpose in life. ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


50-51-Sponsors Bio-New.qxp_A4 Temp 09/09/2016 19:15 Page 50

Our Sponsors

Ernst & Young


Y 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

Shanti Hospitality


hanti Hospitality Group Limited the hospitality subsidiary of C&C Alpha Group Ltd. It is a hotel and restaurant business with international brands and assets including the award-winning destination spa Ananda in the Himalayas, Nira Hotels & Resorts and Nidra Hotels. Shanti Hospitality’s current portfolio and pipeline projects spread across Asia, Europe and the Indian sub-continent. Shanti Hospitality currently owns 12 operational hotels across the globe. What distinguishes Shanti Hospitality’s business is the constant commitment to providing quality, comfort and uncompromising service to all its guests. These values apply to all brand segments within the Shanti Hospitality group – ranging from an award-winning destination spa, to 5-Star business hotels, lifestyle boutique resorts, and mid-market leisure and city hotels.

Edwardian Hotels


dwardian 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.”

British Army


he British Army protects the United Kingdom’s interests at home and abroad, providing a safe and secure environment in which all British citizens can live and prosper. It exists to defend the United Kingdom, to fight the nation’s enemies, deal with disasters and prevent conflict. One of the most highly regarded and best equipped armies in the world, the British Army is proud of its heritage of delivering success in combat through the courage, and selfless commitment of its soldiers. The Army employs young men and women in both full-time and part-time jobs from all parts of the United Kingdom and helps to develop them further by giving them world-class training and education. The Army offers the opportunity to serve in any role regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or social background in order to maximise an individual’s talents. In return, it offers the satisfaction of camaraderie, the honour of serving their country and the pride of belonging to an elite and highly respected organisation. The British Army is your Army: in an uncertain world it is ever vigilant, always ready and steadfast in its commitment to the defence of the United Kingdom and its citizens.


ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

50-51-Sponsors Bio-New.qxp_A4 Temp 09/09/2016 19:15 Page 51

State Bank of India - UK

Our Sponsors


tate Bank of India (SBI), with a 200-year heritage, is the largest commercial bank in India in terms of assets, deposits, profits, branches, customers and employees. The Bank has been operating in the UK for the past 95 years and has grown to become the largest international operation of State Bank of India. Whilst the bank’s heritage in the UK began in wholesale banking, it has successfully launched a retail offering in recent years and was recently awarded a commendation in the ‘Best No Notice Account Provider’ category for its Instant Access Savings Account at the Moneyfacts Awards 2016. SBI UK has recently added a new look and feel to most to its UK branches to align them with high street presence while enabling greater access to the bank’s services of savings products, buy to let mortgages, safe deposit boxes, business accounts and NRI services such as remittances to India. SBI UK has reaffirmed its commitment to the UK market through two new branches in London at Ilford and Hounslow and plans to incorporate a UK subsidiary during the next year as it plans to continue with its retail presence in the coming years.

Axiom Stone Solicitors


xiom 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.

Rational FX


ationalFX was established in 2005 as a private forex services company. They are authorized by the FCA and to date have transferred over $5 billion for their clients. They offer a multilingual online payment system for approximately 20,000 private and corporate clients. They offer highly competitive exchange rates and quick forex transfer times for private clients and businesses. RationalFX helps individual clients in a variety of capacities, from regular and one-off money transfers online, to moving money for emigration and making payments for tuition or for property and mortgages. RationalFX is an independent foreign exchange service provider based in the UK with additional offices in France, Poland, and Spain.

Sow & Reap


ow & Reap, which started trading in February 2004, has since grown to have a large presence in the Indian community settled in the UK and has completed many property transactions in and around Central London. One of its trophy acquisitions is 17 Portland Place in W1, minutes away from Langham Hotel for £15m consisting of 13,000 sq. ft. It recently acquired a large development site in Wembley to develop circa 100 flats. Its track record of buying and selling properties has been audited by BDO in preparation of listing its fund to the AIM market. The fund has a strong board of directors with experience in properties and in running listed companies which includes Bharat Thakrar.

BWT (Bhaarat Welfare Trust)


he BWT (Bhaarat Welfare Trust) India Aid works with over 150 charities across India to help the less fortunate. Registered in 1998, BWT’s vision is to eradicate poverty by providing education and basic amenities to those in need. Founded by Mr Kantilal Parmanand Unnadkat, India Aid today – with the support of over 40,000 donors – undertakes several projects and initiatives to raise the standard of living of the poor. It addresses every day needs like hunger, education, helping the homeless, women's empowerment, protecting cows from slaughter and cleanliness. BWT's education project works with Indian NGOs which help children go to school and receive primary education. Its medical camps provide healthcare services to a large number of people. Even when natural disasters strike, its volunteers are the first on the ground to lend a hand. For 17 years BWT India Aid has been fiercely committed to transforming lives of children and adults in India. ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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The people’s choice awards



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ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar





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WINNERS of 2006 Professional of the Year

Winner: Capt. Ashvini Sharma, Regional Director AirIndia, UK Shortlisted Nominees Jiva Odedra Reena Ramesh Shah Parm Sandhu

Woman of the Year

Winner: Jasuben Seghani, Shop Owner

Shortlisted Nominees Shahin Badar Shashi Kiran Gossain Honey Kalaria

Achievement in Community Service Winner: Chandubhai Kanani

Shortlisted Nominees Vijay Ratan Manubhai Makwana Gopalbhai Popat and Induben Mehta

New Market Entrant

Winner: Majoj Ladwa and Vikas Pota – Founders Saffron Chase

Shortlisted Nominees Suresh Vagjiani Suresh Kotecha Jes Kaur Raj Bakrania

Lifetime Achievement

Winner: Arjan Vekaria

Shortlisted Nominees K.B Shankar Yogesh Mehta Dr Mohan Kaul

Achievement in Media, Arts & Culture Winner: Dr Avatar Lit, founder of Sunrise Radio Shortlisted Nominees Mira Trivedi Rakhi Sood Ashish Joshi


Business in Community Winner: Manish Shah, Partner at Sigma Pharmaceuticals PLC

Shortlisted Nominees Mr. DK Kewalramani Pramod Thakkar

Achievement in Sports

Winner: Hunisha Bharat Patel, Martial Arts

Shortlisted Nominees Monty Panesar Sajid Mahmood Prince Naseem Ahmed

Business Person of the Year Winner: Nadir Lalani, Founder of 99p Stores

Shortlisted Nominees Kantesh (Ken) Popat Ravi Gill Arvind Halai

Innovation in Business

Winner: Arvind Malhotra, Owner of GapGuru

Shortlisted Nominees Shashi Gossain Nikunj Shah

Woman of the Year

Winner: Dr Usha Menon, Lecturer at UCL, Head of Gynecological Cancer Research Centre

Shortlisted Nominees Dipa Jethwa Manisha Tank CII Anjana Patel

Achievement in Community Service Winner: Viral Acharya, Founder of Pratham USA & Pratham UK Shortlisted Nominees Raj Loomba Shaunaka Rishi Das Vinod Kapashi

The people’s choice awards

WINNERS of 2007

Business Community Award

Winner: Nat Puri, Purico Group of Companies

Shortlisted Nominees Janak Ondhia Kishor Patel Pradeep Pandya

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Winner: Dalip Kumar, Founder Travelin Style

Shortlisted Nominees Sanjay Vadera Shamir Shah Vikkas Puri

Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner: Firoz Kassam, Entrepreneur, Hotels and B&Bs

Shortlisted Nominees Bobby Grewal Bhanumati Piparia Chandrakalaben Patel

Sports Personality of the Year

Winner: Monty Panesar, Cricketer Shortlisted Nominees Owais Shah Saima Hussain Kiran Matharu

Professional of the Year

Winner: Naynesh Desai, Solicitor

Shortlisted Nominees Puneet Arora Ritu Sethi Dr Satya Narayan Agarwal

Achievement in Community Service

Winner: Rati Shah, Fund Raiser Social Service Shortlisted Nominees Dr Ramesh Gandhi, Mahendra Jadeja Madat Ahame,


Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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The people’s choice awards

Achievement in Media, Arts & Culture Winner: Renu Patel, Performing Arts

Shortlisted Nominees Honey Kalaria Mira Kakad Ravi Sharma

Woman of the Year

Winner: Shriti Vadera, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development Shortlisted Nominees Mrs Deepakben Patel Gita Jobanputra Nilam Patel

WINNERS of 2008 Professional of the Year

Winner: Nishma Gosrani, Consultant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers Shortlisted Nominees Anuj Chande Raj Joshi Dr Akbar Ali Malik

Business Person of the Year

Winner: Yogesh Mehta, Managing Director of Amertrans Shipping

Dolar Popat

Shortlisted Nominees Bemal Patel Hasmukhbhai Patel

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Suraj Gokani

Winner: Kuljinder S. Bahia, Director of Southall Travel t Shortlisted Nominees Rajesh Agarwal Devin Chawda

Woman of the Year

Winner: Kamal Hothi, Lloyds TSB Shortlisted nominees Manula Sood Sangeeta Patel Anita Chopra Salima Mawji


ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


Achievement in Healthcare and Education Winner: Dr Dak Patel, Director London SAM

Shortlisted Nominees Dr Reshma Ramesh Gandecha Arun Patel Dr Satyanarayan Agarwal

Achievement in Community Service

Winner: Dr Rami Ranger, Chairman of India, PAK, UK Friendship Forum

Shortlisted Nominees Vinod Kapashi Bharesh Trivedi Gordhandas S Patel

Sports Personality of the Year

Winner: Maiyuran Ratneswaran, Fencing Shortlisted nominees Shivam Shah Rashmi Yadave Manjit Singh

Achievement in Media, Art and Culture

Winner: Ravi Sharma, Radio Ambassador India & UK Shortlisted Nominees Jay Kumar Nikita Thakrar Paresh Shah

Uniformed and Civil Services

Winner: PC Mebs Ahmed, Chairman of Lancashire, Black Police Association Shortlisted Nominees Supt. Raj Kohli Dr. Kadaba S V DL Ajit Patel

WINNERS of 2009 Woman of the Year

Winner: Uma A Mehta

Shortlisted Nominees Dr Monika Khanna Parveen Hassant Honey Kalaria

Civil Service and Uniform Winner: Capt. Sandip Patel

Shortlisted Nominees Natubhai Somabhai Patel Shilpa Solanki Bhimji Vekaria

Business Person of the Year

Winner: Anil Maneklal Solanki

Shortlisted nominees Kirit Patel Thariq Mohammed Koolesh Shah

Business in Community

Winner: Narendra Patel

Shortlisted Nominees P.S. Kang Naynesh Desai Satish Parekh

Professional of the Year

Winner: Manjul K Vasant MBE Shortlisted Nominees Cheryl Dhillon Zafar Siddique Mohammad Asghar

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Winner: Rishi Lakhani

Shortlisted Nominees Snahal Patel Nina Kabra Bhavisha Patel

Media, Arts and Culture

Winner: Chamanlal Chaman Shortlisted nominees Jasvinder Singh Bal Ashish Amrit Kotak JeetsScreen Idolz

Achievement in Community Services Winner: Vraj Pankhania Shortlisted Nominees Madhurikaben R. Patel Chhotalal Maganlal Limbachia Chhotalal Narottambhai Chauhan

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Sports Personality of the Year Winner: Rajeev Bagga


Sports Personality of the Year

Winner: Ravi Bopara

Shortlisted Nominees Ashwin Bhatt Shivam Shah Samit Patel

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Winner: Frank Khalid

Winner: Riz Navsarka

WINNERS of 2010 Professional of the Year

Winner: Vijay Goel

Shortlisted Nominees Prof S Homer Vanniasinka Dr Nora Vyas Dr Sandeep Mane

Media, Arts and Culture Winner: Anjali Bulley

Shortlisted Nominees Abhishek Varma Jason and Dennis Singh Digwa Sujan Shah

Business in Community

Winner: Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia Shortlisted Nominees Sanjiv Mehta Subir Patel Anil Sehgal

Uniformed and Civil Services Winner: Bala Mehndran

Shortlisted nominees Bujor J Avari Mark Sumariwalla Rajini Vaidyanathan

Winner: Ranjan Manek, OBE

Editor's award for Vision and Enterprise

Shortlisted Nominees Ashpal Kaur Bhogal Michael Chopra Zesh Rehman

Excellence & Innovation

Achievement in Community Services

The people’s choice awards

Shortlisted Nominees Aliya Rashid Aswin Rana Zaheer Ahmad


Shortlisted nominees Cllr Filly Maravala Darshan lal Kalhan Maneck A Dalal, OBE Sanjay Jagatia

Woman of the Year

Winner: Pavani Reddy

Shortlisted Nominees Jasuben Mistry Shalina Alabaksh Shashi Kiran Gossain

Young Business person demonstrating sustained business growth Amit Patel

Best Overall Enterprise Subaskaran Allirajah

Leadership in Professions Bobby Karia

Asian Voice Special Award for Ingenuity in Business

Achievement in Health Care

Overall Business Performance and Innovation

WINNERS of 2011

Sanjiv Mehta

Dr Nora Vyas

Professional of the Year Winner: Bhupendra Jasani

Business Person of the Year

Shortlisted Nominees Anuj Chande Dalip Puri Sujata Sharma

Winner: Arun Panchariya

Shortlisted Nominees Dr Vijay Patel and Dr Bhikhu Patel Hemang Shah Raj K. Aggarwal OBE

Dr Vijay patel and Dr Bhikhu Patel

Jason and Dennis Singh Digwa ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016

Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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The people’s choice awards

Achievement in Media, Arts & Culture Winner: Bobby Singh

Shortlisted nominees Nasif Ali Shiamak Davar Surjit Singh Ghuman

Sports Personality of the Year Winner: Rajiv Ouseph

Shortlisted Nominees Ashpal Kaur Bhogal Isa Gunha Manjit Singh

Achievement in Community Service

Winner: Major Tikendra Dal Dewan

Anjum Anwar

Shortlisted Nominees Fauzia and Nooruddin Aftab Kamleshben Patel


Business Person of the Year

Winner: Dr Rami Ranger Shortlisted Nominees Rajan Amin Ruby McGregor-Smith Ali Kurji

Editor's Award for Vision & Enterprise Dinesh Patel & Savitaben (Cofresh)

Editor's Award for Research and Compilation Dr Kusoom Vadgama

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Winner: Mitesh Patel

Shortlisted Nominees Shazia Awan Nina Kabra Abhishek Varma

Uniformed & Civil Services Winner: Shindo Barquer

Shortlisted Nominees Dalwardin Babu PC Asif Sadiq Hitesh Oza

Woman of the year

Winner: Ruby McGregor – Smith

Shortlisted Nominees Cllr Mimi Harker OBE Yashmin Mistry Devi Kolli

Business in Community

Winner: Shernaz Engineer

Shortlisted Nominees Mandeep Atwal Manoj Patel Nish Kotecha


ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

WINNERS of 2012 Professional of the Year Winner: Shah



Shortlisted Nominees Abhishek Sahdev Rajay Naik Dr Minaxi S. Desai CBE Prof. Alimuddin Zumla

Media, Arts and Culture Winner: Gunawardene


Shortlisted nominees Ray Panthaki Rishi Rich Dr Sathi Ludhianvi

Lifetime Achievement Winner: Lord Noon, MBE


Shortlisted Nominees Baroness Shreela Flather Sir Anwar Pervex Nadir Lalani

Achievement in Community Services Winner: Kishan Devani

Shortlisted Nominees Chelliah Yogamoorthy MBE Asif Iqbal Param Singh

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Winner: Shamir Shah

Shortlisted Nominees Ishil Mehta Zima Parmar Priyesh Rawal

Sports Personality of the Year Winner: Akaash Bhatia

Shortlisted Nominees Netan Sansara Mandip Sehmi Bulbul Hussain Gaz Choudhry

Woman of the Year

Winner: Shahnaz Hussain Shortlisted Nominees Urvasi Naidoo Mishal Husain Dr Sonal Minocha

Business Person of the Year Winner: Subaskaran Allirajah

Shortlisted Nominees Ashok Rabheru Mansoor Popat Dr Diwan Rahul Nanda

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Uniformed and Civil Services Winner: Amjad Mazhar Hussain

Shortlisted Nominees Tejinder Ajimal Gurcharan Singh Dhesi MBE Darra Singh Lt Bhavna Parmar

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International Personality of the Year Smt Hema Malini MP

International Personality of the Year Kevin Pietersen MBE

Special Editor's Award for Outstanding Services Through Legal Profession

HH Judge Sir Mota Singh QC

Editors Award for Vision & Enterprise Samrat Bhandari

AAA 2012 Talent Hunt


Achievement in Community

Winner: Professor Naina Patel, OBE

WINNERS of 2013

Achievement in Media, Art and Culture Winner: Seeta Indrani

Shortlisted Nominees Navin Kundra Kiran Shah Amol Rajan

Lifetime Achievement Award

Shortlisted Nominees Charan Kanwal Sekhon Dorab Erach Mistry OBE Piara Singh Aulakh MBE

Sports Personality of the Year

Winner: Ruqsana Begum

Shortlisted Nominees Kiran Matharu Saddiqa Shan Vishal Ladwa

Uniformed & Civil Services Winner: Chief Supt Surjeet Manku

Shortlisted Nominees Shami Chakrabarti CBE Satya Minhas Ravi Chand CBE

Winner: Srichand Hinduja & Gopichand Hinduja

Shortlisted Nominees Fauja Singh Anil Agarwal Nasser Hussain OBE

Editor's Award

Anita Choudhrie

Professional of the Year

Winner: Nandita Parshad

Shortlisted Nominees Arun Batia Professor Soraya Dhillon MBE Dr Ajay Gupta

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Winner: Rajeeb Day

Shortlisted Nominees Aruna Seth Faiza Seth Nick Madhavji Rajeeb Dey

Business Person of the Year Winners: Meera Tailor and Nisha Halai with Dr Merul Patel, Director, ABPL

The people’s choice awards

Winner: Firoz Tejani

Shortlisted Nominees Dilesh Mehta Thembalath Ramachandran Mumtaz Khan

Woman of the Year

Winner: Farida Gibbs

Shortlisted Nominees Meena Pathak OBE Kamal Basran Baljinder Boparan

Lawyer of the Year Mitesh Patel

WINNERS of 2014 Business Person of the Year

Winner: Mahmud Kamani Shortlisted Nominees Kishore Lulla Kirit Patel MBE Harry Dulai

Professional of the Year

Winner: Prof. Sir Tejinder Singh Virdee, FRSi Shortlisted Nominees Anu Ojha OBE Faisel Rahman OBE Dr Sandy Gupta


Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar


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The people’s choice awards

Achievement in Community Service

Winner: Wasim Gulzar Khan MBE

Shortlisted Nominees Shahien Taj Kiran Bali MBE JP Sajda Mughal

Woman of the Year

Winner: Priya Lakhani OBE

Shortlisted Nominees Sharmila Nebhrajani OBE Balvinder Kaur Sandhu Saba Shaukat Ranjana Bell MBE

Editor's Award For Rising Star Shahid Khan


Sports Personality of the Year

Winner: Dilawar Singh MBE

Shortlisted Nominees Manish Tailor Paran Singh Neil John Taylor

Entrepreneur of the Year

Winner: Dr Richie Nanda Shortlisted Nominees Sukhi Ghuman Taz and Umer Sheikh Majid Hussain

Lifetime Achievement Award

Anwar Pervez

WINNERS of 2015

Business Person of the Year Winner: Iqbal Ahmed OBE

Achievement in Media, Arts and Culture

Winner: Hanif Kureishi CBE Shortlisted Nominees Samira Ahmed Akram Khan MBE Shahid Khan aka Naughty boy

Uniformed and Civil Services

Winner: Nazir Afzal OBE LLD (hon) Shortlisted Nominees Millie Banerjee CBE Dipprasad Pun CGC Kul Mahay

Editor's Award For Bravery and Patriotism Late Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan


ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2016 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Shortlisted Nominees Zameer Choudrey Surinder Arora Jasminder Singh

Entrepreneur of the Year Winner: Nish & Sach Kukadia

Shortlisted Nominees Vanita Parti MBE Nitin Passi Jyotin & Karam Sethi

Sports Personality of the Year Winner: Moeen Ali

Shortlisted Nominees Rimla Akhtar Shehneela Ahmed Ira Banerjee

Woman of the Year Winner: Bindi Karia

Shortlisted Nominees Smruti Sriram Dame Zarin Kharas DBE Dr Irene Khan

Uniformed and Civil Services

Winner: Lance Corporal Tuljung Gurung

Shortlisted Nominees Imam Asim Hafiz OBE MA Jaswant Kaur Narwal Makhdum (Mak) Ali Chisty

Media, Arts and Culture Winner: Romesh Gunasekera

Shortlisted Nominees Deeyah Adil Ray Asif Khan

Achievement in Community Service Winner: Jasvinder Sanghera CBE

Shortlisted Nominees Amir Cheema MBE Arun Patel Husna Parvin Ahmad OBE

Professional of the Year

Winner: Satvir Bungar - Director, BDO

Shortlisted Nominees Anita Balchandani Dr. Farah Bhatti Prof Venugopal K. Nair

Lifetime Achievement Award Lord Rumi Verjee CBE

Editor’s Award: Financial Services Company of the Year Tahir Akbar Beaufort Securities

Market Financial Solutions.qxp_A4 Temp 05/09/2016 10:54 Page 1

EY.qxp_A4 Temp 24/08/2016 11:57 Page 1

What transforms around the corner to around the world? EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year programme, has helped thousands of companies grow from local to global.


Asian Achievers Awards 2016  

Asian Achievers Awards 2016 - Event Souvenir

Asian Achievers Awards 2016  

Asian Achievers Awards 2016 - Event Souvenir