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Punjabis Heir to a rich culture he British Punjabi community represents a remarkable success story. Punjabis of every social and religious shade are the sum of their diverse parts; they are a thriving presence in business, in the recreation hospitality industries, investment, community service and philanthropy, in all of which they make a sizeable contribution to the common weal. Historically, Punjab lay within the bounds of the Indus Valley civilisation best symbolised by the ruins of Mohenjodaro and Harappa, sophisticated cities that were the earliest manifestation of an urban culture that flowered in the third millennium BC. Harappa was located on the River Ravi in what is now Pakistan's Punjab Province. Punjab has also been one of the great crossroads of South Asian history leading to the intermingling of ancient Greeks and Mauryans, of which the remains of Gandhara art and sculpture are a living reminder. Punjabis are heirs to a rich cultural tradition which includes mythology, folklore, ballads and Bhangra dance. Much of the folk tradition is oral, passed on through the generations by traditional peasant minstrels, mystics, and wandering gypsies. Punjab is a prosperous agricultural state that for long has been the bread basket of India.It is now developing an advanced services sector led by Information Technology. It sources scientific instruments, specialised engineering products, electrical goods, financial services, machine tools, textiles, sewing machines, sports goods, starch, tourism, fertilisers, bicycles, garments, and processes pine oil and sugar. Punjabis constitute the backbone of the Indian Army as well. The Punjab Regiment is one of India's oldest, having taken part in campaigns in far-flung corners of the world and won numerous battle honours in two world wars. Punjabis are to be found in every part of India. A small Gurdwara is a familiar token of a Sikh presence, however small the numbers. Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh personify the Sikh contribution to the seamless robe of Indian culture and tradition. In Britain, Punjabis have made an indelible mark in every field of human endeavour, from Parliament to the marketplace and beyond. They are a bridge between Britain and India and between Pakistan and India. Last but not least, I take this opportunity to thank all of you who have made British Punjabis 2011 a notable success. I wish to express my deep appreciation of the help and support of Baroness Sandip Verma, our advertisers, and contributors. In the UK as well as abroad, wherever Punjabis reside, their achievements are above average. But the best is yet to come! As a salute to that spirit of participating in all the worthwhile activities and aiming for excellence, I have immense pleasure to commend this humble effort of ABPL. Last but least, I congratulate the ABPL team for the hard work and devotion that have made this magazine such a enjoyable read.


CB Patel Publisher/Editor

Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011


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Rise of India he rise of India’s economy over the last decade or so and the success of many from the Indian Diaspora globally has seen a positive shift in attitudes from the more traditionally powerful and successful players towards the Indian community whether in India or across the world, however the question I often ask myself is whilst attitudes towards us may have changed, have we also begun to understand our own attitudes towards ourselves and to our fellow kinsman in and out the Indian sub continent. One such area is of course the advancement and acceptance of the role women play in civic, commercial and political life. I have the good fortune to visit India very regularly and witness the structural changes that continue to take place, many very welcome but of course there one has to also remind ourselves of the millions that remain struggling at the low end of the economic, social or gender stratum. As Minister in the House of Lords responsible for Equalities and Women issues alongside my responsibilities for the Department of International Development, there are a number of themes that run common to both those areas and that is of the need for opportunities and fairness in life. In this article I would very much like to focus on the gender element, the fact that still today in the twenty first century the fact that you are born a girl may often seal your fate to disparity amongst other things in livelihoods, education, land and inheritance rights and health outcomes. In my role I have the privilege of meeting some extremely interesting people often having faced huge challenges to reach the heights of success that they have managed. It however remains disheartening to see that those challenges that were amongst ones that I and my generation had faced as we had gone through meeting the difficulties of childhood, teenage age years and adulthood both to meet our family values and traditions and also function within mainstream society still continue for many today. I am a Punjabi, an extremely proud one at that, and looking around the globe at the extraordinary achievements the


Punjabi communities have made across the globe, the question that still has failed to be answered is why do we, still through the best part of our lives re enforce a distinct prejudice against girls. I want to just further elucidate that observation by two simple examples, the skin colouring and a preoccupation with fairness and a far reaching assumption that females cannot maximise their ambition or talents by exploring professions deemed more male orientated. Whilst the first of these examples may appear trivial and flippant, for millions, particularly girls, this has sealed the futures of many. The question I ask fellow citizens in UK is would we accept discrimination on the grounds of colour from the indigenous white population, especially since we fought hard for laws to make that discrimination illegal, so then how do we justify it amongst ourselves. The second example is of course about confidence, our own complexes standing in the way of ambition and dreams. We for to long have stopped ourselves short of believing we can have the top job, we have failed to ensure that confidence is developed in others, perhaps it is because we are to failure averse or perhaps feeling safe and secure is good enough, either way we leave those challenges for another generation to face. I have made it against the odds. I have achieved and fought for rights because of being a woman. I made it because the person that supported me throughout believed in the value of my vision, Ashok my husband and best friend recognised that unless people like me stood up and to meet the challenges faces on, girls and women from our communities would largely continue to fail to achieve. Dreams and ambitions are not just the domain of men, some of the greatest movers of change were and are women. Punjab has produced some phenomenal women, let us celebrate their existence and instead of looking inwards and retrenching backwards let us be confident that all members of the Punjabi community have something worthwhile and valuable to offer.

Baroness Sandip Verma, Minister for International Development, Minister for Equalities and Women and Whip in the Cabinet office, House of Lords

Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011


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London Immigration Advice & Appeal Services Ltd (LIAAS) has made a reputation for itself as being one of the leading firms dealing in UK Immigration Law amongst the Asian community. With offices in London (Southall), Birmingham, Leicester and even India it is headed by famous Immigration Lawyer Harjap Singh Bhangal. Harjap has his own TV show on MATV on the Sky platform and has also featured on BBC's Panorama, Radio 5 Live on the Donal McIntyre Show, BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4. He also regularly features on the BBC Asian Network as the “Immigration Guru” answering people questions live on air. His is a Pride of India Award winner Quality Immigration Advice LIAAS is renowned for providing top quality immigration advice in relation to UK Immigration Law and Nationality law. This area of law can be a potential minefield for companies and individuals to navigate in a time where the law is being constantly changed many times throughout the year. British Nationality With British Nationality law set to change this year making it harder for individuals to qualify for British Citizenship it is even more important that those eligible to apply do so without delay in order to avoid the more stringent new rules. Employing Foreign Workers Due to recent changes in immigration legislation a huge onus has been put on employers to ensure that their employees are legally entitled to work in the UK. There are now civil penalties imposed on employers found to have illegal migrant workers with employers facing fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found on their premises. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is constantly conducting spot checks on locations acting on intelligence so it is very important for employers to be vigilant. The UKBA requires employers of foreign nationals to have checked and to have kept copies on file certain specific documents. LIAAS is an expert at advising employers as to what the requirements are in relation to employing foreign workers. New English Language Requirements for Spouses The UKBA announced that compulsory English tests for spouses who want to come to the UK will begin from 29th November 2010. After this date anybody applying as a spouse or fiancé will have to do this test before being issued a marriage visa for the UK. LIAAS are experts in advising on marriage visas, whether it is a British person getting married abroad or a non UK national wanting to marry in the UK or marry an EEA national. Buying Property in India LIAAS and it's group of companies also advise and represent clients who wish to purchase land and property in India. With India's economic resurgence under way to the tune of 9%, the real estate market has also begun to stabilise. The residential segment particularly is picking up fast. We offer a service where people based in the UK can buy or sell their land or property in India. Other Services We also offer other ancilliary services in India such as registering Wills, Land valuation and investigation. Our sister company LLB Legal Solicitors offers expert advice on Divorce Law.

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Punjabi Language is our Common Heritage By Neeraj Arora unjabi is 12th most widely spoken language in the world with around 90 Million native speakers. Pakistan has got over 78 Million, India 30 Million and the rest are spread around the world including in the UK, Canada, USA, UAE, Malaysia and beyond. Punjabi is an Indo-European language with origins said to be in Shauraseni Prakrit of the first Millennium, which is thought to be a vernacular with its roots in classical Sanskrit. In fact, Hindi, Punjabi and Gujarati are sister languages born from the womb of Sanskrit. Around 60 to 70% Punjabi words have been directly borrowed from Sanskrit. Punjabi is is one of the most precious gems in the treasure of ancient Indian heritage since it is more akin to Sanskrit than any other Indian language according to an imminent Punjabi thinker and linguist Professor Om Prakash Kahol. Punjabi emerged as an independent language in the 11th Century. Baba Farid and many others Sufi Saints thereafter used Punjabi to convey their spiritual message to the masses. Punjabi is also the language of communication and literature of Sikhism. In fact Punjabi reached its culmination in prose and poetry under patronage of Sikh Gurus and Sikh kings between 16th to 18th Centuries. Sikh scriptures though scripted in Gurmukhi are in fact written in several languages. Many portions of Guru Granth Sahib use the Punjabi dialects, but the book is interspersed with several other languages including Brajbhasha, Khariboli, Sanskrit and Persian. It is fair to conclude Punjabi language and people are part and parcel of much wider common heritage pool of languages, cultures and traditions of the Indian Subcontinent. Guru Granth Sahib adopted writings of spiritual writers and mystics like Kabir, Jaidev, Namdev and Trilochan, which were origanlly not written in Punjabi. However, Punjabi being a flexible language, successfully adopted words and phrases from various languages including Hindi, Persian, Sindhi, Marathi and Gujarati. Poets from Sufi traditions of Punjab


have made immense contribution to the Punjabi language. Shah Hussain, Baba Bulleh Shah, Sultan Bahu , Shah Sharaf and Waris Shah are some of the names, Punjabi language will always hold in high regards. Writers and poets of Punjab have also enriched other languages. Shardha Ram Phillauri was a Punjabi spiritualist in 19th Century remembered for contributions to literature and poetry. He was the composer of the famous Aarti ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hare’ chanted daily in millions of Hindu homes and temples. In modern times, Punjabi music and dance have infused into popular Bollywood music and is loved by not just Indians but people of all origins around the world. The prestigious Majhi dialect is considered as textbook Punjabi. Majha region actually centralizes around Lahore and Amritsar, is spread in modern day India and Pakistan. Gurumukhi, Shahmukhi as well as Devanagari Scripts have been used to write Punjabi. Punjabi language and heritage belongs to all Punjabis including Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus. Attempts to distance Punjabi language from Punjabis on religious lines by narrow minded politicians or religious fundamentalists in last few decades have failed. Punjabi language will always remain vibrant force for all Punjabis regardless of their religious affiliation. In modern times, Punjabi is recognised as the mother tongue of prosperous and affluent Punjabis, adored by all who come in contact with it whether through art, literature, dance, music, drama, cuisine, business or spirituality. Not to forget Punjabi jokes and slangs that also have a toxic influence on the Indian psyche. Punjab has been on crossroads of immigration to and from the Indian Subcontinent for thousands of years. Punjabi language has successfully assimilated influences from various languages, cultures and traditions it came in contact with; and has enriched itself during the course. This is an unending process, the pillars are set strong and deep; the past has been illustrious and the future is bright for the Punjabi Language.

Neeraj Arora

Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011


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Creating a New India maar MGF Land Limited ("Emaar MGF", "the Company") is a joint venture between Emaar Properties PJSC ("Emaar") of Dubai and MGF Development Limited ("MGF") of India. Emaar is one of the world's leading real estate companies, having developed approximately 89 million square feet of real estate across residential, commercial and other business segments and with operations in 14 countries. MGF has established itself as one of the key players in retail real estate development in Northern India and has delivered approximately 2 million square feet of retail space. The Company commenced operations in India in February 2005 and is into real estate development with a pan-India presence and operations spanning all key segments of the Indian real estate industry, namely the residential, commercial, retail and hospitality sectors. The Company's operations encompass various aspects of real estate development, such as land identification and acquisition, project planning, designing, marketing and execution. At present, its focus is on the development of residential projects in Delhi and elsewhere in the NCR, Mohali, Hyderabad, Chennai and other key Indian cities. Close to Chandigarh lies the haven of Mohali Hills, an integrated master planned community for those who appreciate the best that life has to offer. Designed to nurture family living in a secure 3000-acre environment, Mohali Hills is dotted with luxury villas to golf courses to character-filled retail centre.


The Views at Mohali Hills: Are world-class apartment towers comprising both apartments and penthouses. Quality of life here will be characterised by outstanding levels of comfort, convenience and security. Uniquely configured around elegantly landscaped gardens, parklands and communal courtyards, The Views will provide an exceptional environment for a modern day living. The Villas at Mohali Hills: Nestled in the magnificent landscape, the Villas promise to be the epitome of fine living and will offer the best from Andalusian, Spanish and Mediterranean architecture. The Villas are a perfect blend of style and form offering the best from Andalusian, Mediterranean and Spanish architecture offering residents an experience of a signature lifestyle. Central Plaza at Mohali Hills: The Central Plaza caters to all the requirements of the Mohali Hills community. Themed in a Spanish style, there are 72 retail spaces within 4 storey buildings available, situated strategically to maximize access to the Plaza. A variety of stores offer the best possible retail solution for your requirements. The Bungalows at Mohali Hills: expandable homes at Mohali Hills, blends the aesthetics of a

sophisticated lifestyle at down to earth prices. An architectural achievement that blends design styles with personal needs and desires offering a brand new lifestyle with a wide array of social opportunities. The Terraces at Mohali Hills: The Terraces comprise of independent low-rise luxury homes, featuring the highest design standards and premium amenities at attractive price points. Each family can occupy one entire floor of The Terraces with independent access and enjoy unhindered privacy of these true value homes. The ground floor home comes with a charming garden, the first floor home has beautiful balconies and the second floor residents can enjoy unspoiled views from the terrace (rooftop). Moreover, each of the independent homes at The Terraces is designed to give you the feel of life in a villa and also an environment to grow and flourish in a thriving community. Emaar MGF Land Limited is proposing, subject to receipt of requisite approvals, market conditions and other considerations, a public issue of its equity shares and has filed a Draft Red Herring Prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”). The Draft Red Herring Prospectus is available on the website of SEBI and the respective websites of the Book Running Lead Managers. Any potential investor should note that investment in equity shares involves a high degree of risk. For details, potential investors should refer to the Red Herring Prospectus or the Prospectus, which may be filed with the Registrar of Companies, New Delhi in future including the section titled “Risk Factors”. Potential investors should not rely on the Draft Red Herring Prospectus filed with SEBI. This advertisement is not an offer of securities for sale in the United States or elsewhere. No securities of Emaar MGF Land Limited are being registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and no such securities may be offered or sold in the United States unless registered under the Securities Act or pursuant to an exemption from such registration. No public offering of securities is being made in the United States.

Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011


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Firanghis of Punjab By Bobby Singh Bansal

access to higher civil duties and were elevated to the highest ranks of the administration. uropean adventurers or mercenaries in They were entrusted with certain judicial 19th century India were often seen as functions and discharged administrative shady characters who were solely interresponsibilities within large districts – ested in making their fortunes attracted by although the autonomy they enjoyed was the riches of native princely kingdoms. But somewhat limited due to a tight control from not all were rogues and at the opulent court the Maharajah. Yet, they married local of the ‘Lion of the Punjab’ Maharajah Runjeet women and adapted themselves in the etiBobby Singh Bansal Singh former officers of the French emperor quette and customs of their Napoleon Bonaparte had enlisted adopted country. In return for into the services of the Sikh sovtheir co-operation with the ereign as early as 1822. The kingMaharajah, they were dom of the Punjab was the only offered largesse in the province in India that was not form of ornate residences under the rule and influence of and exorbitant salaries the superiority of the British. The much to the dismay of arrival of two European officers local officials, who resentJean Francois Allard and Jean ed the Maharajah’s Baptiste Ventura to the Court of benign gestures toward Lahore were to transform the balhis ‘Firanghis’. The ance of power in the region much Frenchman General to the resentment of the East Claude Auguste Court India Company at Calcutta. These Front cover of the book maintained a moderate two European mercenaries had not only overresidence in the precinct of the tomb hauled and modernised the entire Sikh Army of Nusrat Khan and Generals’ Ventura to European Standards within a few years of and Allard were gifted Anarkali’s tomb their arrival but they became Maharajah as their official residence which still Ranjeet Singh’s most loyal advisers at court. stands today in the comGeneral Jean Baptiste Ventura - The Italian Such was the grandeur at the Court of pound of the Punjab General in charge of the Fauj i Khas or Royal Lahore or ‘Lahore Durbar’ as it was also Secretariat in Lahore. Bridgade. He later became the Count of Mandi known that mercenaries hailing from Spain, a title he was awarded in 1841 by the Within some of these resHolland, Italy, Hungary, France and from idences exists today fres- Maharajah for squashing the rebellion in the British India had descended on the Anglohill states which now forms part of Himachal coes and murals which Pradesh in India Punjab frontier hoping to procure employwere commissioned by ment. It was these European mercenaries the European elite and Punjabi arts and culthat were to play a pivotal role in the ture were hastily promoted during the Sikh Maharajah’s administration especially over reign. The French officers in particular develhis vast and expanding empire that the influx oped a profound interest in the culture of of a greater number of Europeans had arrived their adopted lured by higher wages and better opportuniPunjab and ties much to the alarm of the British authoriengaged with their ties. The Maharajah’s Europeans were Punjabi counteremployed in military, civil and administrative parts in cordial duties, for example, as Governors of strategic social relations provinces. The Neapolitan General Paolo until the Avitabile was the civil Governor of Peshawar M a h a r a j a h’ s from 1838 to 1842, the Dutchman General demise in 1839. Henry Charles van Cortlandt was designated Although senior Governor of Dera Ismail Khan and the European officers Hungarian Dr Martine Honigberger became in the Lahore the personal physician of the Sikh sovereign. Durbar exercised From their positions as military advisers, great influence these ‘Firanghis’ or foreigners became influFrescoes that still exist in the fortress residence of the over the Italian. General Paolo Martino Avitabile at Wazirabad, ential courtiers and bureaucrats, gained Maharajah, they Punjab now in Pakistan.


Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011


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had substantial influence in external affairs but were usually consulted on all relevant domestic matters at court. Maharajah Ranjeet Singh therefore maintained a very picturesque and cosmopolitan court. There were in the beginning numerous incidents in which the Sikh troops resisted the authority and methods of these ‘Firanghis’ Doctor Martine Honigberger refusing to serve under - the Hungarian physican at the Court of Lahore and was them and opposing them also made superviser of the with drawn swords. The gunpowder foundaries in Maharajah intervened Lahore promptly, taking immediate measures to arrest the troops and fined the ringleaders, restoring order amongst the Sikh army thus allaying further fears of insubordination amongst the Sikh troops that his ‘Firanghis’ were here to stay. Several local courtiers even suspected that the Maharajah was so spellbound by some of his French (Generals’ Allard and Court) officers that he refused to hear any form of malicious gossip against them. Indeed, there were certain courtiers who insinuated that the French officers in particular possessed a degree of influence over Ranjeet Singh, and that whenever fines and penalties were levied against miscreants, it was usually the Maharajah’s

French officers who were entrusted with implementing such measures. This speaks volumes of the Maharajah’s farsightedness that he was shrewd enough to distinguish between those people who were either beneficial to him, and those who were subservient. But on the 27 June 1839 the Maharajah died and so most of the European elite decided to abandon General Jean Francois Punjab and returned to the Allard - The French military governor of Peshawar terra firma of their birth along with their families. Colonel Henry Steinbach a Prussian officer in the services of the Lahore Durbar estimated the wealth of the Maharajah at eleven crores rupees in cash alone, excluding his jewels, paintings, horses and other personal artefacts which surmounted to an equal figure. Later after the anarchy that followed the Maharajah’s demise, his incompetent successors were unable to govern the vast empire he had built with the aide of his ‘Firanghis’ that the British ultimately annexed the Punjab after two indecisive wars in 1849. Excerpts and Images from: The Lion’s Firanghis: Europeans at the Court of Lahore – Published by S.K Foundation (UK) 2010

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Punjabis abroad: Enriching the world with hard work and enterprise By Premen Addy he people of Punjab have a well deserved reputation of being a tough lot, the toughest of the tough, those with first-hand knowledge of their characteristics and durability, would say. Come rain or sun, hell or high water, they thrive on adversity. Never say die appears to be their motto. Take the case of 64-year-old Harchavari Singh Cheema, a Sikh who travelled to the west African state of Ghana 40 years ago and is today a celebrated farmer and winner of two national awards, which he received from different presidents. His Cheema Param Farms grow vegetables, much of which are exported fresh to markets in Europe. Yet the beginnings were far from promising. “I arrived Ghana [24 million population] in 1972 to work as a manager for the then Glamour Stores – a supermarket chain – but some years later, the country's economy started to go downhill and this affected the textile industry and I had to leave the chain to do something on my own,” he said. Mr Cheema, Amritsar-born and bred, a true son of the Punjabi earth, explained: “I initially started a poultry farm at [Ghana's] Gomoa Pamfokrom in the Central Region. I used to grow maize as feed. Unfortunately the poultry sector also started having problems, so I started a small textile manufacturing unit in Accra, Ghana's capital. Bu this also suffered a lot because of the trade liberalisation the government initiated in the 1980s. Coming from a farming background, I had no choice but to get back to farming again. I decided to produce 25 varieties of [subcontinental] Asian vegetables for export to Europe.” It's been a hard but rewarding road. Mr Cheema was awarded the Best National Farmer prize in the vegetable category in 2006, while earlier, in 2004, he carried off the Best National Farmer award in the food crop sector. He has since spread his wings across parts of Ghana beyond Accra, including the Central, Volta, and Eastern Regions. “The idea to spread was necessary because

T Premen Addy


Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011

we did not want to become victims of the weather. Therefore, spreading out the farms enabled us to succeed when the weather failed in some areas.” he said. Mr Cheema had decided to remain in Ghana through the difficult times because he had come to like the country and its people. His children are now at school there and he wouldn't want to disturb their schooling by taking them back to India. Ghana was a good place to grow up. The people were warm, friendly and tolerant. If you were law-abiding and paid your employees fair and proper wages there would be no problem. He has been a beacon for prospective Indian investors who seek his advice on how to go about establishing themselves in the country. Punjabis are a more visible presence in East Africa, where their commercial enterprise (like those of the more populous Gujaratis) are now a force in places like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Ethiopia and Madagascar are looking to boost their agriculture by leasing land to Indian farmers, among whom there are certain to be Punjabis. That is not all. British Punjabis are conspicuously successful in almost every occupation, as are their compatriots in North America, where life was anything but easy initially. The wells of racial and cultural were forbiddingly deep in America at the turn of the 20th century. Racism was rife, with protection of the law from lynch mobs almost non-existent . Anti-immigrant legislation was designed to keep out Orientals - Indians, Chinese and Japanese. Many Punjabis belonged to the anti-colonial Ghadar party in India, so it was put about by the authorities that they were German agents, the First World War then being the overriding international event.The historian Joan Jensen's title Passage from India tells an uplifting tale of Punjabi endurance, fortitude and achievement in North Ameria. It is truly inspirational, surely a work for our times.

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In memory of a community man r. Rajwans Singh Anand of Leicester was a well known personality to the City of Leicester and communities of all faiths and religions. He only believed in one thing and that was Peace and Humanity. Mr. Anand was born on the 12th of February 1945 and completed his journey on the 10th of February 2009. He came into the UK during early 70’s and was the founder of the multinational company called “Anand International Ltd.”. Before that he and his wife Mrs. Harwinder K. Anand worked hard via market stalls. He was a magnet who attracted people of every faith and religion. Since 1999 he had fought cancer with a smile and he said that it was these people of different faiths whose blessings had kept him going without pain and suffering, while the doctors had given him a few months. His soul departed on the 10th of February 2009 on his son Harjot S Anand’s (Jay) birthday at 4am. He used to attend the exhibition held at the NEC without fail two times a year. A few days before he passed away he requested his children to take him to the NEC where they used to conduct business exhibitions on regular basis. He went to the show for a day to meet all his old friends and everyone who knew him on a wheelchair with oxygen cylinders. He could not speak a lot due to his breathing and oxygen mask on his face, but waving his hands all we could hear was “Thank you” to everyone who came to meet him. People of all faiths came and sat next to him in this huge business exhibition. People sat on the floor, while some on the chairs or where ever they found space. It was a very sentimental scene where people turn by turn were massaging his feet, shoulders, arms, etc. in such a high profile exhibition. He was the pillar to his family, friends and every person he met on his travel throughout his life. His last words before we departed us were which he constantly said were “Nanak Naam Chardi Kala, Tere Bane Sarbat Da Bhalla” “Lord bless everyone in this world” he kept reciting these lines till the end until at 4am when he finally whispered “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh”. It felt like he was asleep, but in reality he made all the family members go to sleep. Now the house consists of one main member he molded with his love, who is his


wife Mrs. Anand the inspiration behind him. Together they made the best couple made from heaven, who kept all their family like flowers around them. Mr. and Mrs. Anand's children are Harjot S Anand (Jay the Son), Dimple K Sethi (Daughter), Preety K Anand (Daughter-in-Law), Kulvinder S Sethi (Vic the Son in Law). Along with this they have 5 lovely grand children Gurina K Anand, Charina K Anand and Tiya K Anand (Harjot and Preety’s Children) and Alisha K Sethi and Mehr S Sethi (Vic and Dimple’s Children) There is no such thing as in laws, all the children are treated as Sons and Daughters and likewise. But best of all the complete family exists of Mr. Atamjit Singh Sethi and Mrs. Kuldip Kaur Sethi from Kuwait (Vic’s dad and mother) and Mr. Pal Singh Kohli (Pali) and Mrs. Kohli from Montreal/Canada (Preety’s father and mother). All the parents are called as mother and father and the children are called sons and daughters. There is nothing in-law's at all. The all three parents call and treat each other as real brothers and sisters. The family is very blessed where the children always say they have three mothers and fathers. Also included in the family and business is his brother-in-law Joginder S. Anand (Babu) who is married to Baby K. Anand with his two children Harjas S Anand and Jasdeep S Anand. He is even today and will always be remembered by millions by the way he approached people. Always smiling and meeting everyone with a great big hug, anyone who met him once would never forget him for life. Till his last few days when he was on oxygen at all times and did not have the energy to speak, anyone who called him for help he used to ask them to come home and meet him so that he could help them. The family used to ask him to take it easy and rest but he was always full of life and wanted to help people. What the family members did not understand was that he was creating a circle of good friends so that when he went, the family would have good moral support from all these people who looked upon him as a father or a brother figure. Mr. Anand always lives spiritually and there is no day the family does not talk about him and will try to always follow his footsteps in life.

Mr Rajwans Singh Anand

Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011


16-Paul Riat_A4 Temp 28/07/2011 12:28 Page 16



Paul Riat OBE: Journey of a true entrepreneur en floorboards. It was a new concept in this uccessful entrepreneur Paul Riat was country. One always relates marble to manborn in Kenya to a civil engineer, sions but we changed the trend. You cannot Darshan Singh Riat, he happily spent compare the beauty of a natural material to the first part of his life in Tanzania followed by 2 and a half years in Punjab which other materials”. played a major part in his later life. He said A man of many talents, a ‘cultural "I love Kenya because I was born there and czar‘, cultural as referred by a well known I have a great passion for Punjab because of national paper in India, Riat has also venmy roots and I am working for causes in tured out into the Music Industry due to his both places." But, Riat owes a lot to his long – standing passion for Indian music. I father who always believed in hard work am proud to say that I was the pioneer of ands honest living. musical promotion in the 80’s in the UK. “My father was a self made man who Emphatically speaking, he says “Music is in constantly threw me in the deep end from a my bloodstream. After 10 years of promotyoung age. I used to sit at his drawing board ing music and most singers of the sub-conin his office when I was age 8 and draw tinent in the UK, I am in the fortunate posiplans of sky scrapers. He would pick me up ton that I now invite whichever singer I from junior school at mid-day, I would be desire at home for a quiet ghazal evening starving and we would visit all our building with friends. I am presently setting a musisites on the way home “, he said. cal academy in Punjab for the less fortunate Speaking of his feelings of his success who cannot gain formal training in music. now with a smile, he says “ The feeling of Ghazal legend Jagjit Singh is a patron of the success is fantastic especially if you have organisation that I set up “Punajbi Circle had to struggle to survive at an early age. I Interantional”. am a product of East Africa, with a taste of Talking about his charitable self, he Punjab along the way. Having arrived in added, "The proudest moment of his life London as a youngster in the winter of was when I was honoured on 31st Dec 1968 and having to work my way up 2010 with an OBE ( Finest Order of the through school, college and business, my British Empire ) for Services to Punjabi best proud moment was when I took delivPeople and a Charity." ery of my first BMW when I was age 20. I had started my first business while I was still at college importing sports goods from India, and I had collected the keys # $) $( ") to my first property at age 22. I "%% &' ((*' would not want it any different. + ' "" ' %+ ( *" ' ") God has been kind to me, to give %" () '%" " + "( me the strength to survive”. ##*$ -() # Today, Paul Riat is into prop%$ ( $ ) ((* erty business both in the UK and *( " '%,) India which have proved extreme-


Paul Riat OBE

ly successful. Speaking about this business venture specifically, Riat said “ being involved in Paul Riat holds the following positions in property/convarious organisations: struction I soon l Global President Punjabi Circle Int. noticed a gap l Founder President Bucks Punjabi Society. l Chairman for replacement Lotus Worldwide. l Vice President World Punjabi Org. material to carl Patron Voice of Kenya Org. pets and wood-


Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011

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17-Dimple_A4 Temp 28/07/2011 12:29 Page 17



Be bold to take up challenges others won't imple Matharoo has achieved milestones that not many people within the British Punjabi community or even the large British society have. He is the only approved (NADCAP) Special Process composite auditor for the aerospace industry in the UK and one of five in the world, is currently the Managing Director of DQS UK Ltd, which is part of DQS Holdings one of the largest certification bodies in the world accredited by many national bodies. Born in Wolverhampton and moving to London at an early age, Dimple when leaving school, with advice from his father chose engineering as a career. Aeronautics being considered to be at the top end of the engineering field, he decided to study Aeronautical Engineering at Southall College. He took up his first job at an aircraft manufacturing company in Hounslow as an aircraft engineer. He was happy to work in the industry that he had trained for. However, he was unaware of the massive opportunities in the field of aeronautics that were about to unfold. Working hard and demonstrating his management skills and knowledge within the company, he was offered the post of Quality Manager. Dimple left to start his own consultancy practice D. M. Associates (London) specialising in the field of quality management and improvement in the aerospace industry. He said, “at first people couldn't quite understand what exactly my work entailed as this was a specialised field within the aerospace industry and projects varied so it sometimes became difficult to explain. I learnt so much during these years, consulting and auditing for SMEs and corporate organisations, meeting senior managers, learning best practice, new technologies and methodologies.” Since then Dimple has helped many suppliers reach aerospace certification, some who never thought aerospace certification was possible. Due to the knowledge and experience gained through auditing and about certification while consulting for companies Dimple came into contact with DQS GmbH. At that time DQS GmbH were looking for a partner in the UK to set up a local office and felt that he could contribute to the group with his aerospace experience and from there DQS UK Ltd was formed in 2008. Today, he is part of a group that assesses more than 20,000 organisations. Dimple says “what makes us different is we try and provide a service for our customers, innovative solutions, that would add value especially in times of rapidly changing markets and not just assessment services, this truly makes us a certification part-


Dimple Matharoo

ner, with our global presence we can audit customers, suppliers, conduct inspection, benchmark organisations within a group to share best practice, and all this by using local auditors with knowledge of local culture and country” With creating a name for himself in the aerospace industry, Dimple has become a major Shareholder of Southdown Aviation Composites, an aircraft manufacturing company with over 50 years heritage. When asked about his future plans, Dimple says, “I want to develop DQS UK Ltd to become the centre of excellence for aerospace within the DQS Holdings group and support Southdown Aviation Composites grow further.” He has also launched DQS UK Training Academy in January this year providing training services for quality professional who wish to gain knowledge of international standards such as quality, environmental, health and safety, automotive and aerospace. Dimple who shares close ties with Ludhiana, Punjab says, “In the next 20 years the geographic of the aviation industry is going to change. “India which was known as the bicycle manufacturers of yesterday will become known as the aircraft manufacturers of tomorrow.” As a person who wishes to see the British Punjabi community excel in all walks of life, Dimple Matharoo told Asian Voice, “The first generation of Punjabis that settled in the UK worked really hard to create a platform for us. Now that we have that platform which our parents worked so hard for, it is for us now to take this further so that our children have an even better playing field then we had." Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011


18-Punjab National Bank_A4 Temp 28/07/2011 12:29 Page 18



PNB- A People's National Bank n the present fluid economic scenario across the globe, when many banks are closing shop, Punjab National Bank is expanding its foothold in UK through its wholly owned subsidiary, Punjab National Bank (International) Ltd. [PNBIL]. Punjab National Bank, established in Lahore (presently Pakistan) in 1895 is the 2nd largest public sector Bank in India, with more than 5100 offices, balance sheet size of $ 85 billion and total customer business of $ 124 billion.. With 58 % holding of Govt. of India, it is one of the most profitable banks in India. It was pioneer amongst public sector banks to launch major IT initiatives. With all the branches on a centralised banking platform and with around 5000 ATMs, the Bank is providing Anywhere Anytime banking facility to its 62 million customers. As a part of its global expansion plans, PNB has setup overseas offices / Joint Ventures in countries like Hongkong, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Kazakhastan, UAE, China, Norway etc. However, its most ambitious overseas initiative has been setting up of PNBIL in UK. Having started operations with two branches in London and Southall in May 2007, PNBIL has added five branches during last two and a half years at places where Indian diaspora is present in large numbers, like Leicester, Birmingham, Ilford, Wembley and Wolverhampton. PNBIL was the first public sector Indian bank to introduce a Chip & PIN based International Debit Card and Internet Banking Services in January. 2009. With an array of Retail as well as Wholesale banking products, PNBIL is now fully geared up to meet banking needs of its clients, especially expat Indians. PNBIL is on customer acquisition spree and presently has around 30,000 deposit accounts with a customer deposit base of $ 730 million, customer advances of around $ 800 million and balance sheet size of more than $ 1 billion. In fact the customer business of PNBIL has grown by more than 200% over last 2 ½ years. The Bank has maintained profitable operations since inception. When many high street Banks are shy of lending against property, PNBIL is selectively lending for development


Mr S.R. Sharma, Managing Director of Punjab National Bank International Limited


Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011

and commercial purposes, to support the business needs of its clients. The Bank has followed open door policy and relationship banking, with free access to Branch Managers and other staff. The convenience of verbal communication in ethnic Indian languages has enabled it to become the friendliest Indian bank for the people of Indian origin in UK. The Bank has also associated itself with the communities in many ways, which has helped it to grow at such a fast pace. One of th e main requirements of expat Indians is to remit their savings to India. PNBIL has recognised this as a focus area and offers one of the most competitive exchange rates for this purpose. There are no remittance charges for transfer of funds from PNBIL accounts to PNB accounts in India and nominal charges for remittances to accounts with other banks in India. For internet users, PNBIL has introduced on-line facility where the exchange rate is more favourable. PNBIL has followed sound banking practices of Indian Banking system, including lower LTV and high liquidity / capital levels. PNBIL is authorised and regulated by FSA and is following the global best practices like IFRS standards for accounting purpose. PNBIL is member of FSCS. PNB which had put in capital of $ 50 million in PNBIL to start with, has pumped in additional capital of $ 75 million to meet the growing business needs of PNBIL due to expansion. The Bank is looking at exploring the opportunities for expansion into other European countries with substantial Indian population. The Bank is headed by S.R.Sharma, Managing Director.

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20 Global Punjabi_A4 Temp 03/08/2011 15:30 Page 20



Global Punjabi Society he Global Punjabi Society was launched by Union Minister of State for External Affairs, India, Smt. Preneet Kaur in the presence of the Rt. Hon'ble Baroness Sandip Verma, Minister for International Development, Equalities and Women and Whip in the Cabinet , House of Lords, U.K. It is a platform to serve the interests of Punjabis around the world, especially to voice their views and to celebrate and honour their achievements. Most importantly, it is a forum to experience the spirit of Punjab, Punjabis and Punjabiyat, says Mr. Jagmonhan Singhm the Secretary General and founder of Global Punjabi Society. M.r Ashok K. Verma was unanimously elected as the President of U.K. Chapter. After the glorious and successful launch of its Doha (Qutar), Kuwait and Bangkok (Thailand) Chapters, the U.K chapter under the Presidentship of M.r Ashok K. Verma was launched on 20th September 2010 at the House of Lords, U.K by the india's High Commissioner HE. Nalin Surie in the presence of Baroness Verma of Leicester, Baroness Prasher, Mrs. Preeti Patel, MP, Mr. Shailash Vara, H.E. A. Kundasamy, the High Commissioner of Mauritius, Mr. Jagmohan Singh, Secretary General of Global Punjabi Society, Dr. Rami Ranger, MBE, FRSA and many more Punjabis and non- punjabis from U.K. and across the Globe. The launch was very successful. An exceptional


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H.E Nalin Surie, High Commissioner of India with Ashok K. Verma, president of U.K. chapter

group of Indian achievers were honoured on the occasion by H.E Nalin Surie. The Globe Punjabi Society UK Chapter held a Dinner and Dance event on 24th March 2011 at the Leicester Stage Hotel where 200 prominent Punjabis and non- punjabis from U.K. attended. Dr. Rami Ranger, MBE, FRSA, the International Chairman of the Global Punjabi Society along with Mr. Ashok K. Verma, president of U.K. chapter, hosted the event. The chief Guest was H.E Nalin Surie, High Commissioner of India, accompanied by Mr. Asif Ibrahim, Minister Coordination, High Commission of India, Mr. C. Gururaj Rao, Consulate General of India, Birmingham. Other dignitaries included Baroness Verma of Leicester and Mr. Edward Garnier, QC Solicitor General of U.K. HE. Nalin Surie, a punjabi himself paid special thanks to the work of the Society in promoting Punjabi cultural and values that added something special towards community cohesion in this country. He also on behalf of the society gracefully handed awards of achievements to the members of the Indian Community and those Punjabis who had contributed in Business, Education, Cultural and Sporting success in the U.K. The money raised was donated in aid of Rotary Foundation and Shree Ram Sewa International. The membership is growing all the time and is open to all the Indians. The Chandigarh Chapter was launched by H.E. The Governor of Punjab Mr. Shiv Raj Patil on 6th May 2011 at Chandigarh in the presence of many MPs and other dignitaries and Mr. Ashok K. Verma, President of U.K. Chapter also attended the event. The Globe Punjabi Society has a strong 25 million plus population from the India Sub-continent across the world. The Global Punjabi Society wants to act as a conduit for interaction and celebration not just of the very thriving Punjabi community but of all those that share their history with India.

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22-Bobby Grewal_A4 Temp 28/07/2011 13:32 Page 22





A walk to remember alwant (Bobby) Grewal is one of the highly recognised personalities in the British Punjabi Indian community. He is acknowledged for his significant contribution towards the welfare of the community but even more for his affiliation with the India Association (a charity) and a marching walk in India, from Amritsar to Kanyakumari. Brought up at Narangwal in Ludhiana, Punjab, Bobby Grewal was born in an army family. His father, Sardar Kishan Singh was a member of the British Indian Army, which he quit when Gandhi Ji called for a Quit India Movement. His father was a big fan of Subhash Chandra Bose and often recited his quotes for freedom. Hence, from an early age, Bobby Grewal was inspired with proud and patriotic feelings towards his beloved India. Mr Grewal came to the UK I 1958 and lived in Southall for a short time. He recalls, “The Punjabi Indian community in Southall was very small at that time. Everyone knew each other. Bobby wanted to be a chartered accountant but in spite of his endless efforts, he could not get an article ship and was forced to manual labour for a couple of years. He then realised that the only way to move forward was to do some kind of business. He opened a delicatessen store in Ealing and worked very hard with a side business of to sell furniture to the Indian community in Southall//Ealing area. Mr Grewal was willing to grasp any opportunity that came into his way. He opened a large chain of self-operated dry cleaning and launderettes. He sold his grocery and dry cleaning businesses and concentrated in commercial property development, which was his real passion until today. Bobby was also very keen in social activities in the community right from his early days in Britain. However, it was in the early 1970’s when he made initial strides to make his presence felt in the community as well as in politics as he joined the Conservative Party in 1973 as well as the Anglo Asian Conservative Society where he was the National General Secretary along with the late Sir Jay Gohel, Chairman. In the 1980’s, Bobby also joined the India Association under chairmanship of late barrister Jaswant Singh followed by


Balwant (Bobby) Grewal


Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011

Mr Dilbag S Chana MBE in the 1990’s. It was in 2001 when Mr Chana Retired, Bobby was elected its chairman and in the same year India Association was registered as charity. Also in the same year, Bobby ran his first London marathon to raise funds for various hospitals and institutions in the UK. It was in 2004, when he achieved a feat of a lifetime. He decided to walk the length of India, a charity walk from Amritsar to Kanyakumari. Bobby walked down the roads of India, a minimum of 30 miles a day through nine states of India. It took exactly five months from 15th November 2004 to 14th April 2005, a total distance of 2,545 miles. From Delhi onwards he started his walk at 4am until he found a suitable place on the roadside to sleep in his caravan. There were problems of blisters, diathermy, mosquitoes and no back up whatsoever from outside or anyone. Bobby says, it was a challenge of a lifetime to him. He lost over 2 stones in weight, but he says, it was well worth it. While en route, Bobby met many wellknown personalities including the then President of India, Dr Abdul Kalam Azad, an affectionate, humble, intellectual personality and above all a crown of the then government of India. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat had also supported the cause for Bobby Grewal's walk. Bobby was given an extensive coverage in India Today. Under the banner of India Association, Bobby raised £100,000 for the research of Cancer and HIV at Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research in Harrow Again, in 2008 from 4th June to 9th July, Bobby walked from Edinburgh to London, Westminster, a 500 miles walk called Parliament to Parliament Walk. His charity, India Association, again raised £80,000 for Bowel Cancer Research at St Mark’s Hospital Foundation in Harrow. With such an achievement under his belt, it is not surprising that Bobby is considered to be one of the most prolific and contributing figures in the British Punjabi Indian community. He tells Asian Voice “ British Punjabi Indian community is very vibrant and its future in the larger British society is very bright. We were lagged behind in politics but that is not the case any more. However, there is still a need for more involvement in sports where the parents should encourage their children.”

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24 T.S. Sahni_A4 Temp 28/07/2011 13:32 Page 24



From civil service to community leadership rilochan Singh Sahni was born on 10th November, 1935 in Rawalpindi formerly part of Greater India now in Pakistan. He did his Masters in Economics from Meerut College, Meerut (Agra University) in 1957 and had the privilege and honour of serving as the Chief Prefect of college and a senior most position in the National Cadet corpse as Senior Under officer of the 7th UP Battalion. He was selected for commission in the army in the year 1957 but joined civil service and had the privilege of serving in Cabinet Secretariat. His first assignment was in most dangerous insurgent invested area of Nagaland from 1960 to 1964. During his service in Nagaland he was decorated with Gallantry Medal by the President of India for his distinguished and meritorious services and for displaying an exemplary courage by taking great personal risk to his life and for very devoted and dedicated services to the country. He managed to arrange a surrender of the large number of insurgents along with their Arms and ammunitions before GOC Pathania at a great personal risk to his life. He was showered with high appreciations and bestowed with several monetary awards and commendations from the Governor of Nagalnd for his distinguished and meritorious services and display of exemplary courage and patriotism His second assignment of nearly four and half years was in Burma which provided him an opportunity to serve the Indian Community who were in great stress and difficulty and were facing great economic and financial problems due to indiscriminate nationalisation of private businesses by General Ne -Win who usurped power after deposing elected Prime Minister U NU. His services in Burma were highly appreciated and commended by the Government and his position was elevated. He served in the High Commission of India in London from 1971 to 1974. Due to his meritorious and excellent services in London he was posted to High Commission of India in Ottawa in Canada. Mr Sahni sought early retirement and settled in London UK. It took him no time to establish a very successful import, export, wholesale and manufacturing business of high fashion clothing. That complete change in profession also provided him an opportunity to serve and contribute in a very humble way to the econom-


Trilochan Singh Sahni


Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011

ic well being of motherland India and the country of adoption UK. His business operations provided lot of employment both at home in India and UK. He continues to serve the community in various capacities in different organisations with an urge to pay back to country. He had the honour to serve in the Executive Committee of the Central Gurdwara London which is one of the oldest Sikh institution(Established in 1908) not only in the UK but also in whole of Europe in various capacities for more than three decades. He had the honour to hold the position of President of this great institution for over six and half years. During his tenure as President of this institution he made strenuous efforts to unite the Sikh Community and to establish of Sikh Consultative Forum by bringing together various organisations such as Sikh Human Rights Group, Net of Sikh Organisations, Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall, Sikhs In England, Sikh Secretariat, British Organisation of Sikh Students, British Sikh Federation, Central Gurdwara ( Khalsa Jatha) London, Federation of Sikh Organisations, National Council of Sikh Gurdwaras, Guru Nanak Gurdwara Leicester, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewa Jatha and Sikh Missionary Society. The Central Gurdwara London made tremendous progress during his tenure as well. He had the privilege of serving as a marriage registration officer for Kensington and Chelsea for several years. Currently Mr Sahni is the President of The Punjabi Society of the British Isles Established in 1928 this organisation has raised funds for various charitable institutions and worthy causes such as Cancer research, Great Ormond Street Children Hospital charity, Gujarat Earth Quake Relief Fund, Northwick hospital etc. As a President of the British Sikh Association he promotes inter faith dialogue and peaceful co- existence bridging better relations with India and UK and providing financial assistance to World Sikh University As a President of Multicultural Welfare Organisation (UK) he promotes better understanding amongst different faiths, bridging the age gap between the young and the old, organising trips and outings thus offering opportunities for interactions, serving the elderly and the young by providing professional advice and assistance. He helps the community through various other organisations as well.

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Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011


26-Sira+1/2_A4 Temp 28/07/2011 13:50 Page 26



Sira Supermarkets: A shopper's paradise The new outlet features a 22,000 sq.ft food hall, here aren’t many supermarkets where you can comstocking over 10,000 different products from general bine a shopping trip with a yoga session or an alterfrozen to fresh fruit and vegetables from around the world, native therapy consultation - but then Sira including watermelons, pomegranates, sugarcane, chickSupermarket’s new superstore is hardly ordinary, to say oo and custard apples. And for customers who are the least. unsure of how to cook the less The Sira family have been spefamiliar products, the company cialist ethnic food retailers for 40 ensures its 40 members of staff are years, successfully running a 3,000 able to offer assistance. In addition sq.ft. store in the heart of Southall, to offering an extensive range of West London. But in March 2007 fresh ethnic products, the store also the family decided to expand to prooffers customers a large ambient vide a more extensive range of speselection, including one aisle dedicialist foods, and opened a 35,000 cated to lentils, another to different sq.ft superstore in nearby Hayes. types of flours and another to herbs Managing director Sukh Sira, and spices, which can be bought in who runs the store with his brother bulk or in smaller quantities. The Harvey and sister Lucky Verdi, store also has a counter dedicated admits that the move represented a R to L: Sukh SIra, Lucky Virdee, Swami Ram Devji, Jhalman Sira and Mohinder Sira to Indian sweets, which are freshly major step for the business. made on site every day. Other facilThe business was originally ities include a Western Union money transfer counter, and founded in the 1960s by Sukh’s father and uncles, who a Lottery terminal has been installed. opened the store on Southall Broadway, serving the area’s Although a comparative newcomer to retailing, large Asian community. The family undertook an extenSukh is an enthusiastic convert. “I’m a web developer by sive market research programme to ensure the new store profession...I really enjoy the interaction with customers, would give customers what they wanted. “Although this meeting new people and just being involved in something was an extremely long process, it’s one that has paid off,” special, which is what we believe we have here. We’re says Sukh. “And we’re continually searching for new prodvery proud of the store that we’ve created.” ucts that our customers would enjoy.”



Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011

27-Advert_A4 Temp 28/07/2011 15:45 Page 27



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28-New Melody 1/2_A4 Temp 03/08/2011 11:36 Page 28



New melody for new entrepreneurs ommon legacy, pluralism , an open society and a free press; all the aforesaid is common lingo used at various India - UK conferences debates and discussions at the political quarters. The fact is that all these sound more like archaic old melody to the ears of new business and entrepreneurs from both India and the UK. They now spend their time and effort in producing new music for the market, much to the likes of Itune users if you like. Their efforts are now much more bold ; striking towards newer paradigms. As Increasingly, Indian companies are expanding into international markets and setting up satellite offices, marketing hubs, project and liaison offices and actively competing in the international market; managing cross border operations, whether as a SME or



Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011

a global conglomerate, has its own challenges. The feeling is mutual amongst the British business who are eager to mark a strategic spot in the busy Indian bazaar. ‘Merge with the emerging’ is the new mantra. Given this enthusiasm amongst the business and the markets from both the sides, what one should strictly avoid is , depending on diplomats and bureaucrats to communicate and address the roadblocks and hurdles. This is not to say the sources mentioned above are unreliable, rather the idea is to move beyond the summits, agreements and conferences and take a lead in setting the tone for economic partnerships amongst countries. In a world where communication is not synonymous to telephones any longer, private sector and civil societies have a much larger role to play in leading the way forward. if one needs to point at a gap that needs urgent attention in India, it is the lack of ‘mind to market’ skills for innovation. Despite its ability to churn out world class scientist and engineers, the Indian R&D space has no recognised innovation cluster equivalent to an oxford or a silicon valley. This space can surely be a good spot for the UK innovation companies that produce custom made technology to suit the requirements of the market. Finally in specification to the legal services opening up in the India market ; from the clients perspective – Indian or foreign, there is little debate about the benefits of foreign law firms setting shop in India. However, the bigger question is whether the Indian law firms would benefit from this change ? Given the growth trajectory of the Indian economy in the last decade or so, every policy decision made is based on sound logic and meritocracy than bureaucracy. Having said that , what is also evident is the snail’s pace at which decisions are made in the policy quarters but at the end they are lauded for their prudence as they are market driven. A recent example is the final nod given to the Vedanta takeover of Cairn India or the final discussions over opening up the retail sector for FDI’s which is likely to come through by august this year. having worked with the decision makers and the industry leaders for a while now, I am confident that the decision made on this issue will also be in favor of both the participants but difficult to say when.

29-Advert_A4 Temp 03/08/2011 11:16 Page 29



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Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011


30-IndiaProperties Mart_A4 Temp 01/08/2011 10:30 Page 30



Providing a Global Exposure ikkas Puri was born in New Delhi, India. After completion of his Bachelors in Commerce from India, he went on to study Masters in Business Administration from University of Wales. He has been actively involved in various businesses. Currently he is running successful institutes offering higher education, in UK and India. In 2008 he established a Plastic recycling factory in Wales producing recycled Plastic bags, a 100 % export substitute. Recently he ventured into the property business and set up a new company, ‘Encore Realty limited’. The company has 2 operation strategies. 1. Investment: The Company actively searches for the right properties to invest in or hold a share. The strategy for investment has been, buying single units, multiple units, bulk block purchase or associating actively in a project or underwriting the project. 2. Brokerage: The company goal is customer satisfaction, providing clients with the best possible deals. They pride themselves in practice with great deal of attention to business ethics. They strive to turn property investment into a fulfilling profit, so Encore Realty Limited developed its property portal as The concept of IPM came to Vikkas one day when he wanted to off load his investments in India. While searching in the market he did not come across any company who would be designing an exit strategy for his investments. He thought, why not create one. IPM is a unique property portal which offers a complete range of services, from getting a showcase of Indian Developers and choosing the right property to raising finance on the property and most importantly, designing an exit strategy for the investments. These services are being offered with the consortium partners and their offices in India and UK. They assure presenting the best properties at the best prices. is a property portal targeting the Non Resident Indian. Through the portal an appropriate exit strategy for investments can be designed. An individual buyer can get various options of properties available. Individuals/ Investors/ Developers can post and manage properties online. The portal is connected with various property agents being part of the consor-


Vikkas Puri


Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2011

tium: Providing a Global exposure. With Encore Realty’s India property mart portal, Developers gain an extra edge by placing the properties on the portal: thereby increasing their target audience. They do not incur any extra cost as the posting is backed by a commission agreement. Investors are able to get an updated list of properties from new developments as well as from resellers. An appropriate exit strategy for their investments can be designed. Individuals have an access to the best suited location and choice of their property. They are able to compare a variety of properties available. Encore Realty’s market strategy is based upon Press and Exhibitions and community meetings. They advertise the portal in all the major Ethnic community publications in the UK. Apart from this, TV advertising is also done occasionally. The company participates in almost all the property shows in the UK to maintain their brand equity. They are very active in the Local NRI Communities and sponsor some of their events. They are continuously conducting road shows for communities where they meet a group of people and talk about their portfolio and investment opportunities. Being locally accessible is their biggest advantage using this in their favor to the maximum. They have a strong presence in the UK and the team is continuously in the process of providing the best services to the clients and ensuring no opportunity is wasted. Through the concept of the Portal the company is able to provide the best Demographic options available to the investor, with due diligence on the project and purpose to minimise the risk to the investor. Being locally accessible there is assurance of transparency on all occasions to both investors as well as promoters. With their legal team they provide all the latest developments available in the industry. There are many advantages of being with Encore Realty, such as a range of geographical locations for the investors, being locally positioned enhances investors confidence, promoters only pay for the properties getting direct hits, investors get a global edge to sell their properties, individual buyers can choose suitable properties and raise finance, advertisement through the portal is increasing probability of sales and the customer is dealing with the best.

GS-Punjabi-New-Left_A4 Temp 28/07/2011 15:18 Page 29


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BritishPunjabis 24th August 2011