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West Midlands Cities Named Unhealthiest

India Breaks Records

Virgin Trains Scraps Friday Afternoon Peak

Interview with Kraj Singh

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xclusive question and answer session with Kraj Singh... Page 30

p and close with Syed Rahat. A few words about his struggle and road to success.....

Page 47

West Midlands stroke club leader wins national volunteering award Liz Topliss, 75, from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands, has won a national award for volunteering after leading a stroke group and supporting the stroke community in various roles for almost 40 years. The Stroke Association’s ‘Life After Stroke Award for Volunteering’ was presented to Liz by Actress Elizabeth McGovern, at a ceremony at the Landmark hotel in London on 21 November 2018. On hearing that she had won a Life After Stroke Award, Liz said: “I wasn’t expecting it and I feel very humbled and surprised. Stroke survivors are very inspiring people, so to be part of that community is an honour. It’s so encouraging to see such courage every day. Stroke has become a passion and it did take over my life – wherever I go I have my ‘stroke’ hat on.” Liz decided to join the Sutton Coldfield stroke club after a close friend had a stroke. Unfortunately Liz had lost three of her grandparents to the condition and later on, in addition to running the club, she cared for her mother for nine years following a stroke. Originally applying to volunteer as a driver for the club, Liz soon found

herself on the committee before being made secretary of the club and eventually club organiser. Liz said: “I ended up becoming a member of the committee almost by accident. I was there a couple of months before I was made secretary of the club. When the organiser resigned, I stepped up as I felt as Secretary, it was my role to keep things going for a few months.” Remarkably, Liz was still leading the club 32 years later. With over 50 members and 25 volunteers, the club has become a life line for many people. Stroke survivors have said it’s a place they can find empathy and

mutual support as well as stimulating activities including speech therapy, group outings, craft workshops and physiotherapy sessions. Liz said: “One of the things that made the group such a success is that we didn’t look at people as stroke survivors but as people who enjoyed being together but just happened to have strokes. We would help our members have a go at things and in turn they could start living again.” Liz retired from the organiser role in 2017 after over three decades but still maintains a close association to the club as one its Trustees.

As if managing a hugely successful stroke club wasn’t enough, in 2014 Liz also became a committee member for the UK Stroke Forum, a coalition of 30 organisations committed to improving stroke care in the UK. The annual conference attracts over 1,400 professionals from across the whole stroke pathway. As a member of the scientific conference committee, Liz engages with stroke survivors and carers across the UK to ensure their concerns are being heard by professionals and other decision makers. She has also worked on various projects including developing a scientific session at the Forum to showcase the importance of difficult decisions at the end of life and how vital it is to engage carers. Throughout her work, Liz has become fascinated with the brain and the priceless value of research especially in the field of vascular dementia, a condition often associated with stroke. Liz said: “Working with professionals at the top of their game was a bit scary at first but everyone was very welcoming. Unfortunately, the resources just aren’t there to do everything we want to do. There isn’t enough provision for rehabilitation

but things have changed a lot thanks to the work of the Stroke Association, they have put stroke on the map but there is still a lot of work to do.” This year’s UKSF will be the last one for Liz who is the Lead Service User representative and the longest standing member on the committee. Tony Banks who is head of Stroke Association conferences and events said: “This is our last year with Liz at the forefront of volunteering which will be such a huge loss to the stroke community. Everyone that has worked with Liz comments on how dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate she is – they can’t quite imagine the stroke world without her. We would like to wish her well with her retirement and hope she enjoys some well-earned downtime with her devoted husband Colin.” Elizabeth, who presented Liz with her award said: “It is a real joy to be asked to give Liz this award. She is a remarkable volunteer who has so much drive and genuine determination to improve stroke care and the quality of life for stroke survivors. She is an inspiration after 40 years of loyal service to this amazing cause.”


LOCAL 4-15

GLOBAL 16-20

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Editor’s Note Hello to our readers and welcome to another edition of Asian World Newspaper! We know you’re all busily getting ready for Christmas and the party season and we wish you the best in all of your preparations! This edition of the newspaper is aiming to keep you all informed with the latest festive news, offers and updates during this month. We will be bringing you the newest stories and know-all before the year comes to an end, and also mentioning the important ongoing charity work occurring to help the less fortunate, over this holiday season. In this issue, we will be talking about the incredible work of the non-profit organisation Sikh Toy Appeal, and their mission to bring gifts to under privileged children across the area this winter. To read more on this story, please turn to our special feature on this event on page 5. We will also be discussing the ground breaking news about two Muslim women being voted into US congress for the first time in history. For more information, please take a look at page 19. In this issue, we also have exclusive interviews with a number of upcoming artists and established film and drama stars. This includes Hampstead actor Peter Singh, Divyendu Sharma from the

new Indian Netflix series Mirzapur, and break-through artist Kraj Singh, who has just released his hit single ‘Lambo Ride.’ For a closer look at these interviews, please read through the Glam section on pages 27-33. We will also be informing our readers about how to stay active with their pets throughout this winter weather, and bringing you exercise tips straight from the likes of Mr Akshay Kumar. To read more, take a look at page 35. And for our sports lovers; take a look at how Asian body building champion Syed Rahat turned his life around and achieved his fitness goals on page 47! Whatever you choose to do, there is a story for everyone! So make yourself some eggnog, put on your favourite Christmas jumper and relax. Read through the rest of this paper with ease! For latest and exciting advertisement offers for 2019 please don’t hesitate to Contact us: on 0121 771 4545 or email: sales@asianworldnews.co.uk Have a great read! Editor: Manisha Bhanot editor@asianworldnews.co.uk Visit us online at: www.asianworldnews.co.uk

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December 2018

Arts project to give voice to hidden stories West Midlands arts graduates will give voice to hidden stories of British South Asian women with inflammatory bowel disease through a new creative project. Five artists will undertake a short residency in the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Art based on research produced by the University’s Psychology Department into the community stigma associated with the condition. Research funded by Crohn’s and Colitis UK and the Rotha Abraham Bequest Trust was undertaken, along with anonymous interviews to explore the issues faced by women with the disease and an Arts Council bid was secured for £12,512 for an awareness project to take place next year. It will link New Cross Hospital, as well as University staff and students from the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, and some of the women who took part in the research. The residencies will be hosted in specific media workshops within the School including Glass, Ceramics, Stitch, Digital and Traditional Print, Photography and Film and will explore themes of health, ethnicity and womanhood. The resulting work will be exhibited at a number of public events and locations in the region including

Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. The project will be led by Maggie Ayliffe, Head of Wolverhampton School of Art, and Dr Satvinder Purewal, Senior Lecturer in Psychology. Maggie said: “This interdisciplinary project aims to raise awareness of inflammatory bowel disease and the social stigmas experienced by sufferers in the broader community. It will find new ways of making this experience visible through the visual arts and encourage more open discussion of the issues. “It will also enable us to create new audiences for art and research among the ethnic communities in the region and stimulate discussion of the importance of art and design in society.” The project will commence in January next year, with an exhibition planned for the summer.

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Sikh Toy Appeal

December 2018

5

Making Thousands of Children’s Christmas Wishes Come True By Manisha Bhanot

Sikh Toy Appeal, a West Midlands based organisation opened its doors this November. It began receiving donations from the public in the form of kids’ plastic toys, board-games, figurines and dolls, in order to deliver them to underprivileged children this winter. The appeal has received support from all over the UK, in an effort to help make children happy this Christmas, who would otherwise have not been able to receive any gifts during the holiday season. The organisations Sikh Toy Appeal has targeted include ones supporting disabled children, kids in care and those from less financially stable homes, who are often unable to experience the full joys of this festive time of year. Among other business attending the launch party of the appeal were local care homes, homeless people’s charities, manufacturing companies and even West Midlands Police turned up to show their support. The venue for the event was beautifully decked out in the form of a winter wonderland grotto. With decorated Christmas trees, dazzling lights, a snow decked floor and even a make-shift sleigh to hold the children’s’ gifts, the place was truly a delightful sight to see. Santa himself had come down to add a sprinkle of magic to the opening day of the appeal, where guests were being served home-made cakes and encouraged to take their pick from a frosted sweets counter – all as a way of thanking them for their donations. Asian World News attended the launch party

of the new fund-raiser in Wolverhampton, to find out just why the appeal was started and the ways in which it’s trying to help our local community. What is your long term-goal as an appeal and reason for existing? We’ve basically been working on our project for the last three years now. We’ve been getting out there each Christmas period and partnering mainly with hospitals, food banks and football clubs, helping these organisations out with the gifts we can donate towards them. That’s why we’ve finally decided to launch our appeal this year and broaden the amount of the community aid we can offer. How much support have you had from the local community so far?

To be honest, we only put out our first social media post a couple weeks ago and the feedback has just been phenomenal. We’ve had such a massive response from our local Gurdwara, schools, lots of businesses, etc. Everybody has seen how we’re working really hard for children and the organisations that benefit them. How far has the reach of support you’ve received been and how many toys have been donated in total so far? The reach has been national, and we’ve also had a couple of international organisations approach us as well to start working and partnering alongside us. In the ‘Santa’s Grotto’ we’ve created to hold our donations, we would probably

have a couple of thousand toys already but this is just the beginning of our launch! Whose idea was it to start the charity and why, was it an individual or collective group choice? It’s been a collective group choice. We don’t like to say we have any bosses because we all completely work together. We came together thinking exactly the same things and being on the same page to start this appeal. We liaise with each other constantly throughout our projects and that’s how we operate. Where will the toys be delivered to? We have hospitals across the west midlands we will be donating to. We’ve got hospices and a couple of organisations that already support them wanting to partner with us as well now. The Roshni haven who specialise in domestic violence families, lots of special needs schools and pupil referral units have

West Midland Safari Park, Spring Grove, Bewdley, Worcestershire, DY12 1LF

also come on board too. How would you encourage the local community to help out? We can help get the word out and spread it through social media and our networks, and then it’s up to people themselves to come and support us if they choose to. We’re trying to show everyone who’s come to our launch event that we’re an independently managed organisation and we’re all in this together - it’s about supporting the area we live in, and partnering with the organisations that we think can best support our cause. What future events do you have planned, what’s next for Sikh Toy Appeal? I think it would just be a watch this space answer to that one. We have a lot of plans lined up in store that we’re hoping to reveal very soon!

Tel: O1299 402114


6

December 2018

South Asians in the UK - British Pakistanis By: Manish Bhanot Pakistanis in Britain are among one of the most prominent Asian settlers in the UK today. Pakistani culture has been integrated into British culture since the last few decades. Pakistanis are also the second largest South Asian ethnic minority in the UK, second to Indians, and followed by Bangladeshis. However, this group of cultured peoples have a range of traditions and cultural customs that are very different to their neighbouring countries, and according to the last national census, the Pakistani population in the UK is exceeding 1.17 million and continuing to grow. Similarly to the Indian population living in the UK, many Pakistanis in this country had their ancestors move here as sailors, or ‘lascars’, working for the East Indian Trading company. Many of them came from the region of Bengal. One of the most famous Bengali Muslim was named Sake Dean Mahomet and founded the ‘Hindoostanee Coffee House’ , which was the capital London’s first Indian restaurant. However, what is now known as Pakistan was formerly a part of the country of India, which came under ‘British Raj’ or imperial rule during the mid-19th-century. Immigration of Pakistani people to the UK formerly began around this time, as many of them were required to serve as soldiers and fight for the British army. A lot of British Pakistanis come from the region of Kashmir and Punjab; both of these territories of land were divided with India when the country received its independence. Following this, the influx of Pakistani immigrants to the UK began to rapidly increase in the 1950s and the 60s as well. Pakistani workers also amount to a considerable population of the British workforce. Although, the majority of jobs they currently undertake differ greatly to that of a soldier or sailor, as they were traditionally expected to

perform upon arrival in this country. British Pakistanis are the leading ethnicity for undertaking jobs in the distribution and restaurant industry. Around 29.1% of workers in this sector are Pakistani, with Pakistani cuisine being very popular among British locals. The same can be found for the transport and communication industry, with 17.9% of the workers being of Pakistani origin. Therefore, it is not uncommon many of us will have Pakistani friends or neighbours who work as bus and taxi drivers, ticket operators and chauffeurs. Most members of the Pakistani community follow the faith of Islam, which is currently the second largest religion in the UK. The last national

census discovered that this country may have had around 100,000 conversions to Islam, the majority of who are women. Over 2 million Muslims currently reside in the UK, a growing number which amounts to around 5% of the current population. There are no official records of Pakistani immigration to Britain prior to the 18th century. But, findings have discovered that the first Islamic influences in England date back to the 1700s. This has been unveiled by archaeological findings of AngloSaxon coins, issued by King Mercia, and minted with Islamic wording. The first mosque which was built in England for prayer, as opposed to a converted building fit for use, did not

emerge until 1889. It was named as Shah Jahan Mosque a.k.a. Woking Mosque. Queen Victoria, Impress of India’s employees and advisors of Indian descent used the building for prayers when she visited Windsor castle in London. There are many Islamic festivals celebrated in the UK today, the most known of which are Eid and Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr is translated from the Arabic of “festival of breaking of the fast.” This takes place after the month of Ramadan, where worshippers will only eat before sun-rise and after sun-set. It is usual at Eid for families to come together in the three day long festival to celebrate. After prayers, worshippers will greet each-other and

have dinner, where the popular dish mostly consists of halal cooked lamb. Children may often receive gifts and girls will get their henna done and most of the family will be given new clothes as well. The last UK census shows that around 2% of the entire UK population is Pakistani. The most popular county for Pakistanis to live in is within the West Midlands, where they amount to 19.34% of the country’s population. The second most favourable county is Yorkshire and the Humber, where they make-up around 19.23% of the population. In the capital of London, there is also almost the same percentage of British Pakistanis, as revealed by the last national census.


pmp_MG_18-05077_PRINT_UK-Germany-Italy-Spain_Hamara_hero_Asian_Today_Full_page_258mmx338mm_v01.pdf

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December 2018

Local Brummie becomes Global Award Winner

front page story cont’d... Mohammed Zafran BEM, known as Zaf to many, is the founder of Unite & Uplift, an organisation which gives vulnerable youths the opportunity to get back into education and employment. Zaf, who lost his blind sister to cancer and had his brother-in-law murdered, has continued to serve the community after suffering such calamities. Zaf has worked with youths who have been involved in drugs and knife crime from every community, and transformed their lives by giving up his own time to entrust them that they can change their lives for the better. Zaf now has over 21,400 youths in his academy, including over 8,000 young women who have advanced into further education, after they were being forced to quit school at the age of 15, due to family values. Zaf has worked with over 75 other organisations and continues to help them progress in tackling crime and youth initiative projects. Zaf has won numerous local, national and global awards for his tireless work in the community. According to many of his friends, Zaf has received most of his accolades in a short span of time, demonstrating how quickly he is achieving big and successful changes in field of community service. MP Liam Byrne said: “Zaf is a true role model for the youths and someone we can all be proud of. He has undergone a difficult time for himself and his family, but he has made it in

to a positive. I was fortunate to hand out the Most Inspirational Muslim in the UK award to Zaf last year and he is making a huge difference to our community.”

Mike Hopkins-South and City College Principal said: “Zaf is someone who has worked with us for many years now and it has been amazing to see how much he has done for the

community. Zaf for whatever reason he’s doing the work, has shown that he has so much passion in helping the youths and I have always had that confidence in him, hence why I allow

him to use the college facilities for free on a weekend.”

This is the list of Awards and Accolades Zaf has won over the last few years: »» West Midlands Police BAPA Community Hero Award 2018

»» British Citizen Award

»» Parliament Review 2018 Power100 Muslim List

»» Sir Bobby Moore Trophy 2015

»» Global Goodwill Ambassador Youth and Community 2018

»» Pride Of Sport Award 2015

»» AsianWorldNews Ambassador

»» Guard Group Nationwide Community Award 2015

»» Global Leadership Diversity Award Winner 2017

»» Nationwide Community Award 2015

»» Rising Star UK Award 2017

»» Birmingham Community Volunteer of the year 2015

»» Most Inspiring British Muslim in UK Award 2017

»» Birmingham Lord Mayor Award 2015

»» West Midlands Police Diamond Award 2017

»» GG2 Leadership Inspiration Award 2015

»» Top Ten Champion Global List 2016/17

»» Asian Achievement Award 2015

»» Pride Of Britain Finalist 2016

»» Asian Football Award 2015

»» Pride Of Birmingham Winner

»» National Diversity Award 2014

»» Top Ten Outstanding Young Person In The UK Award

»» Birmingham Sports Community Award 2013

»» European Diversity Award Hero of the Year 2016

»» BBC West Midlands Sports Project Of the Year Award 2013

»» West Midlands Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 »» Excellence in Diversity Award 2016 »» Queen’s Honour BEM 2015


LOCAL 4-15

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HEALTH 34-35

TRAVEL 36-37

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SPORTS 45-47

December 2018

9

Asian World News Motivation! Jag Singh

LEGEND. WE all have enough evidence to state that the universe is vast, eternal and never ending. Within this universe, there is only one you, nowhere else is there another individual like you. Just here, right now, you exist and there will never ever be another you. Ever! This makes you a Legend, a legend that can make a difference, do something with your life, and leave a track of success for everyone to remember your name forever. Or, you can just merely let the winds of life throw you from side to side, exist and ride the train of life to its final destination. Many legends have walked the Earth and their success stories are a true example of what humans are capable of achieving if we truly want to. The stories of these amazing individuals such as Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs and many more are easily accessible on the internet for instant motivation. Find them, read them and experience their hardship and determination through their words. What we have learnt from these legends is that with true conviction, belief and action you can make a difference, you can impact another individual’s life and become a legend. Do it for your family, do it for the people and more importantly do it for yourself. If anyone around you is constantly giving you negative vibes, stopping you from achieving your dreams, distant yourself from them. Because, if you are going to achieve your best in this life you cannot afford to let these individuals influence you in any way or form. The opposite applies to those individuals around you

who encourage you to be your best and nudge you to achieve your full potential. Stay as close as you can to these individuals and constantly thank them for there support. This life you have been given is a gift, if you get up, take action, and reach out you too can become a legend and live an amazing and exhilarating life. First you will need to find a cause; a reason for why you are here on this planet, what is your purpose and aim? You can be anything you want to be,

New Business Opening Lazer Battlez (Star City)

A local entertainments business in Birmingham has opened, allowing adults and children of all ages to bond together. Laser Battlez is an ideal situation for this type of activity as it is a good form of exercise, and chance for people to work together collectively in-game as well as on their own. Star City was chosen as the venue as the owners decided it is one of the main recreational venues in Birmingham that could attract all genders and age groups local to the area. The business has already received a huge amount of bookings within its first

few weeks of opening, due to the large demand in the laser game market. They offer a range of standard booking packages and hosting for birthday parties and events, but also have plans to take Lazer Battlez into the corporate world. Local schools, community centres and special needs venues are soon to be coming on board with this local business venture. The business is planning to launch a range of new offers for local children wanting to play laser games, and at present have the exclusive 3 battles for £10 deal running at their new venue.

an inventor, be the best at your talent and skill, contribute your life to assist and support the charities, or be an amazing father, mother, sister, brother, family member and support your nearest and dearest by being there at their time of need. I believe that you can all become legends, and once you come to term with that fact a miracle takes place and you begin to realise it is your birth right to be the best, live this life, and one day be remembered as a Legend who walked the Earth. The future offers will be great value for money and affordable to families of all types. Soon to be running weekday deals will also be more cost-efficient for laser players of every age, and hopefully encourage parents to come down with their kids so they can blow-off some steam! So get ready now and come down to Lazer Battlez for an exciting session of Laser Tag at the new indoor arena. Navigate through a maze, shoot down your opponents, hone your team and battle skills in tactical games, or simply just have a shootout for an exhilarating experience! The business is a brand new set-up, a multi-level fully marshalled arena, equipped with state of the art lighting, sound and much more. Featuring a new and never-before seen course, unique to its kind with smoke machines and infa-red motion sensors, get ready for a heart palpating lazer battle like you’ve never had before. Tag-team with your best buddies, or go rogue to complete your mission and reach the top of the leaderboard. Lazer has no limits in this fun and action packed course! The address and opening times are as follows: Unit 27, Star City, Birmingham B7 55A Monday-Thursday 12-9pm Friday 12-10pm Saturday-Sunday 10-10pm

Jag Singh from London/Essex is an inspirational speaker, writer and he is constantly campaigning for Anti-Bullying, Mental Health and many other areas that effect the well-being of our communities. Jag has supported the NSPCC (The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) by conducting seminars and workshops campaigning and working in child protection. He has also been supported by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, Sikh Channel, Zee TV and many other

organisations. Jag is also an expert in Effective Sales/Business and Team Management. For constant daily motivation you may follow Jag Singh on Twitter @jagsingh_ican You Tube The Inspiration Zone - Jag Singh Please feel free to contact Jag and his team for information regarding their inspirational seminars and workshops jagsingh70@btinternet.com

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December 2018

Capital Business Hub “Breaking Business Barriers”

On Wednesday the 5th of December, the most renowned businesses in the West Midlands area met under one roof as CBH hosted its 2018 networking event. The event was held at Walsall’s royal venue of Badshah Palace, an art décor building with a beautiful 1500’s essence fit for a king. As the evening came to a start, guests were welcomed into the sophisticated décor of the open pan space. They were offered food and refreshments as well as their own personalised CBH name-badges, in-order to get the meet and greets off to an early start! The event not only featured the attendance of well-known names in the business sector, but the latest up and coming SMEs and start-ups, eager to build a profile for themselves in the Birmingham area. Already, the atmosphere in the room was one of warmth and hospitality, as business owners shook the hands of their local fellow entrepreneurs. They also dropped off exclusive deals and b2b offer pamphlets at each other’s tables in a hearty networking exchange. In total, the CBH Networking Event saw the attendance of up to 150 members and non-members, who were seeking the

ideal platform to promote themselves in the marketing world. Visitors did not just attend from the West Midlands area, with some travelling as far as from Burton-onTrent, Manchester, and even the capital of London. The prestigious event was sponsored by the big brands in business such as the NHS, Subway, DJ Rohan, West Midlands Safari Park, Property Observer, Vironix Solutions, and ISL. There was also live television coverage from the A1 TV Channel and Sky 779, which was broadcast to viewers all over the country as the event took place. The event was in full-swing as formal host Shukeel Cohan introduced the CBH sponsors – Aksar Khan from Subway enterprises and Ravi Sandhu from Integrating Solutions Limited were some of the first names to be welcomed onto the stage. Ravi Sandhu, in attendance with ISL company director James Smallman, said: “I’ve know Saj for 7 years and have watched him grow his business and expand his portfolio of services to where it is now. We at ISL Digital are fully supportive of Capital Buinsess Hub and the opportunity that it presents. We endeavour to work together and let our businesses compliment each other”. “The event organised by CBH was great for new start businesses and businesses looking to make cintacts with like minded individuals. Bring on the next event!”

By Manisha Bhanot

said Raj Singh, New Business Manager, ISL Digital. Youth-worker Zafran Mohammed also gave a speech. Zaf is a community hero and aids young people in the local area in staying away from gang and knife violence. He helps them to find their feet by getting them back into education and valuable community projects. Zaf was kind enough to bring his entire football team to the CBH event, in order to set an example for them in becoming well-integrated and respectful members of the community. They key-note speaker of the event was Kul Mahay from Ignite Your Potential, who gave an amazing speech encouraging the audience to break through their business related fears and learn the strategies in order to create powerful entrepreneurial goals. As the evening progressed, guests witnessed live entertainment, including a breath-taking violinist performance and a live DJ. They were served a 3-course gourmet style buffet to their tables and left the venue with their own personalised CBH complementary goodie bags- the perfect marketing start-up tool for any business! The 2018 networking event was a huge success, and Asian World Newspaper looks forward to seeing what CBH have in-store next for the business community.


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December 2018

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December 2018

Takeaway Pays the Price for Mice

By Jemma Tennison

Desi Roti and Khana, the Indian and Pakistani fast-food restaurant on Cape Hill in Smethwick, is recovering business after being shut down last year. Action was taken following Sandwell Environmental Health Officers finding mouse activity during a routine food hygiene inspection in 2017. Mr Abid Hussain, owner of the shop, pleaded guilty on four counts: not keeping his premises clean, not protecting food against contamination, failing to implement pest control measures and not having a food safety system in place. The following court bill issued totalled £9,609.59 – a payment that was required by 1st November this year. The sum was broken down into £2000 fines for each of the four offences as well as a victims’ surcharge of £170 and further costs of £1,439.59. Councillor Elaine Costigan, cabinet member for Public Health and Protection, spoke for the council as she stated “Sandwell Council always takes food hygiene matters very seriously. We do work to support food businesses but, in this instance, officers had no alternative but to take enforcement action because of the imminent risk of heath to the public.” There was also hope that the fine would have a broader effect on the community as “We welcome this sentence and hope that it acts as a deterrent to other food businesses that do not manage their businesses in compliance with the law.” In response to the fine, Mr Hussain is reported to have said “We closed voluntarily last year for three days until there were no signs of pests. The issue was caused by the bin strike in the area last year. We are open seven days a week.” The bin strike referred to occurred in August 2017 due to dispute between the Union and the council over job losses. There were a range of different stoppages in the usual route of bin collecting, which led to bags of rubbish accumulating on pathways in the town. The shop’s status does seem to be improving, as recent online reviews offer praise for its hygiene and service. Examples include comments that food is ‘freshly made while you are watching’ and service has been described as ‘excellent, quick and efficient’. However, despite these reviews, the food hygiene rating remains listed as 0/5 from 3rd May 2018, with the page having been updated very recently on the 5th September. It seems that only time will tell if the Desi Roti and Khana will regain its business and reputation it held prior to its closure last year.

Olive Birmingham pupils are STARS for ditching cars

Pupils and staff at The Olive School, Birmingham have been hailed as stars for ditching cars and travelling to school in a sustainable and safe way. The school gained the Modeshift STARS Bronze accreditation for reducing the numbers of people arriving by car and by encouraging getting more pupils walking, cycling and scooting. On Thursday, 15 November, pupils were invited to a celebration event at the Council House in Victoria Square, where they were presented with the award by Birmingham City Council’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor John Lines. The children also took part in activities on the topic of sustainable travel. Pupils and staff at the school have taken part in a number of awareness and training sessions on sustainable travel including road safety. The sessions have been heralded a huge success after resulting in the reduction in the use of cars and an increase in pupils travelling to school on foot, bike and public transport. Despite an increase in pupil numbers at the school, which opened in 2016, there has been an overall reduction in school traffic. The wellbeing of pupils has benefited too, with a 40% increase in number of pupils walking to school and 3% of pupils now travelling to school by bike (compared to 0% previously). Of the pupils travelling to school by car, 34% now care share with a other pupils, reducing the number of car journeys and easing congestion around the school. There has also been a 14% reduction in numbers of staff driving to work, with just over 50% now arriving by car. Other measures to improve congestion and parking near the school have included an extension of the time when children can be dropped off at school, which is now 7.30-8.30am. The school also offers a Rifat Batool, Principal of The Olive School, Birmingham, said: “Our school is committed to supporting sustainable travel initiatives. This commitment is part of the school’s overall strategic vision to be good neighbours, care for the environment and to encourage a healthy lifestyle. We welcome the opportunity to raise children’s awareness of their impact on the local environment, as well as encouraging them to get moving and lead active lifestyles. We have worked incredibly hard over the last year to encourage active and sustainable travel and the hard work has really paid off with all the support and commitment from our pupils, parents and staff. The school is now looking forward

Birmingham City Council’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor John Lines with Assistant Principal Farina Bolia and pupils Mohammad Yusuf, Nuha Maflahi and Sara Saqib

Assistant Principal Farina Bolia, Senior Transportation Officer Mandi Slater, pupils Sara Saqib, Mohammad Yusuf and Nuha Maflahi, with Road Safety Officer Paul DaSilva to working its way towards achieving the silver award.” Modeshift STARS is a national school awards scheme that encourages schools across the country to increase levels of sustainable travel and active travel to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people. For further information on Modeshift visit www.modeshift.org.uk.

The Olive School, Birmingham in Stratford Road, Sparkhill is a free school for pupils aged from 4 to 11 years. Part of Star Academies, one of the UK’s leading multi-academy trusts, The Olive School, Birmingham opened in September 2016 and currently has pupils in Reception, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3. For more information, visit www.olivebirmingham.com.

Laura Ashley The Tea Room opens at The Chace Hotel, Coventry

Following the success of Laura Ashley The Tea Room in Solihull and Burnham, the company has today announced the opening of Laura Ashley The Tea Room at The Chace Hotel, Coventry. The new Laura Ashley The Tea Room at The Chace Hotel on London Road, Coventry, is tastefully decorated in signature Laura Ashley style, featuring selected products from Laura Ashley’s home furnishing and accessories ranges. Laura Ashley’s striking Belvedere Midnight wallpaper is complemented by Pale Silver and Pistachio painted walls in this contemporary space filled with fresh green hues and accents of blue. The Tea Room overlooks the hotel’s landscaped gardens,

and ample free parking is available for visitors. Guests can expect traditional afternoon tea favourites, including a selection of freshly made finger sandwiches, warm scones with clotted cream and fruit preserves, and irresistible cakes and pastries. Updated regularly, the sweet selection is created using seasonal produce by dedicated Pastry Chef, Chris Murrow. Prices start from £20 per person and guests can opt for Prosecco or Champagne with their afternoon tea. Laura Ashley The Tea Room is open from 12 noon until 4pm. To book visit www.lauraashleythetearoom. com or call 02476 303 398.


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December 2018

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December 2018

Interview with Dhruvin Patel from Ocushield By: Manisha Bhanot

1. You have a degree in Optometry and have released a new International product that protects technology users from harmful blue light emitted from digital screens. What inspired your passion for eye-care and made you want to go into this particular field? I was always interested in Biology from a young age and naturally excelled in that subject. I enjoy helping people and healthcare is an environment where you can do that quite well. At the time I was exploring options through Dentistry, Medicine, and similar avenues. I did a shadow day at Specsavers, followed by working a week there. My learning at the placement was quite tangible; I could understand what I was doing and the industry itself well. I thought I could see myself in the role and decided to pursue Optometry as the career I wanted to embark on. 2. Tell us more about Ocushield, how does it act as a barrier to protect people’s eyesight and help them go to sleep at night? How is it different from a normal screen protector and privacy guard? Blue light also stops the release of melatonin in our bodies (the sleep regulating hormone). Ocushield uses specialised formulation within the material of glass, which absorbs most of the blue light that is omitted from digital screens, and protects our eyes. A typical screen or privacy protector doesn’t do this. At Ocushield we position ourselves as more of a healthcare company rather than just selling mobile accessories. Medical authorities in the UK have actually credited our product as doing its job correctly and as safe to market, which is something we’re very proud of. 3. Is Ocushield really necessary, won’t turning your device’s brightness down or putting night shift on protect your eyes just as well? One of the reasons customers love our product is because of its uniqueness. Many software companies will build in a blue light emitting setting into their operating system, which will make your screen go orange or have a yellowish tinge. Whereas Ocushield does not do that, your image will always be very clear and vibrant. A lot of parents also use our product because they know their children are very tech-savvy and will turn the blue-light protection software off. But with our Ocushield screen

guards they know their children will always be protected. 4. How did you fund the costs and man-power required to launch Ocushield when you were still a student, and how did you manage to dedicate so much of your time to the project whilst you were still at university? Whilst I was at university there was a Business competition where I submitted my product. I was fortunate enough to wow the judges; show them I’d be able to make the product and that there would be a market for it. I used the money I won from the contest to fund Ocushield and a partial amount of my student loan to set the business up. I knew that the company would require a lot of my time but I was dedicated enough to make it work. 5. What has the customer response been so far to your product and were people surprised with the amount of sales you’ve made? When the product first came out I was quick to get a website up, even though production wasn’t full in flow yet. We started accepting pre-orders before launch at the start of 2015, with 500+ people signed up. The response was

good; we sold over 50,000 units of Ocushield world-wide. People were seeing the benefits of the product, not just consumers but employers for example who want to protect their workers on the job, and it’s been great. 6. What devices is Ocushield available for, as well as smart phones and laptops, does it also fit kindles and various tablets? At the moment a lot of our products cater for the Apple market; Macbooks, iPhones and iPads. We also provide for a lot of monitors and laptops. Currently we don’t supply for Kindles but we are looking our expand our product range within the next year. We also have glasses that reduce blue light if you want protection from a device that Ocushield currently do not market for yet. 7. Which countries is Ocushield available in, have you ever thought about making the product available at local technology retailers like Curry’s PC World and Carphone Warehouse for example? We currently sell to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. We will be launching in 3 Mobile Store in December this year, and will be advising retailers on how to sell our product in

store so customers have the full information and the product is distributed well to the public. 8. You are donating £1 of every Ocushield sales you make to the charity Fight for Sight. Can you comment more about the important healthcare work they do and why you chose to support them? Fight For Sight is the leading eye care charity in the UK. They do pivotal research for the future of eye care in our country. In terms of statistics, we are in a generation where problems such as glaucoma and cataracts are on the rise. There is not enough being done into looking for medical solutions to these conditions and eye sight loss in general. That’s where Fight For Sight come in, and their work focuses on prevention and not just cures for such conditions. 9. Following the investment in your business from Asad Hamir, who is an optician like yourself, Ocushield is expected to make a £1 million turnover in its 3rd year since it was founded. Did you ever think to achieve so much success when you first released the product? When I first launched the product I wasn’t thinking ahead on a long-term

basis for the future of the company. I was acting on a short-term basis as I knew I just had to release the product quickly for my first band of customers. I had never imagined Ocushield would have this wide of a range. The £1 million turn over that’s a great milestone for us, but it’s only the start as we know there are so many areas we can grow the business in. 10. Your business has further plans for the range including blue light limiting light bulbs & prescription lens coatings, are there any other products you’re hoping to add to the range? Where do you hope to see the business progress to in the next few years? That’s right, and we want to think about lighting as a whole. A lot of lighting currently is LED in offices and homes, which emits more blue light than digital screens. These types of rays can cause tiredness in our eyes, headaches and loss of sleep. We’re going to be looking at new limiting light bulbs and desk lamps we can produce to stop this. We also want to sell our product to more stores offline, banks and large business groups, then see where our business can grow from there.

A Diverse Restaurant Fit For A Diverse City

Birmingham will now be home to a new branch of the globally successful Filipino restaurant Jollibee – and we cannot wait! Birmingham gives home to the second largest group of UK based Filipinos in the country, this group gave rise to the successful Birmingham-Sandwell-West Midlands Filipino Festival which occurs every year. Now, the beautiful and colourful cuisine of the Philippines is coming to Birmingham as the globally successful Jollibee launches in the city soon! The Chickenjoy fried chicken and Jolly spaghetti are so much loved around the globe that customers queued for six hours to gain entry to the restaurant in Milan – and its easy to see why with its bright colours and flavours capturing the same multiculturalism as the cosmopolitan city. Dennis Flores, president of Jollibee is

keen to say that the restaurant will also capture the heart of non-Filipino locals, stating that in Singapore and Hong Kong ‘50% of our customers are locals’. It is clear that the restaurant chain desires to not only bring culinary joy to the Filipinos within the city but to show off the culture and cuisine to the rest of the city. There is little doubt that the new restaurant will be a bustling hub within Birmingham and will help celebrate our city’s beautiful multiculturalism. In the turbulent times of Brexit negotiations, the expansion of such a globally successful brand in the UK will give hope to many, Flores explains that ‘it’s a sign of our trust and confidence in the UK’ and the company is certainly large enough to withstand any unstable times

ahead. In fact this is not the first time it has shown an interest in Britain, last year the company was interested in purchasing British chain Pret A Manger for $1 billion USD. Whilst Pret is undoubtedly a well-loved chain it does however have a culinary focus wildly different to that of Jollibee, and we think we are all glad the company will be appearing in our cities in its true and unique style. It is hard to imagine, a Pret a Manger quinoa salad working with Chickenjoy fried chicken! The Birmingham restaurant is part of a UK wide expansion plan including cities such as London, Manchester and Liverpool, it is expected to create 1,500 jobs in the UK by 2023. By Georgia Horsell


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December 2018

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December 2018

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Top 10 Richest Pakistanis 2018

1. Shahid Khan Early Life Shahid Khan is currently the richest Pakistani in the world and was born in the region of Lahore, Pakistan in 1950. He was born to a middle-class household which was involved in the construction business. His mother is an ex-professor of Mathematics. Khan moved to the US to study as a teenager during the 60s. He holds a Bsc degree from the UIUC College of Engineering, from where he has also won a distinguished alumni mechanical engineering award. Business Khan earns the majority of his income from the ownership of Jacksonville Jaguars, a company with around a $770 net worth. He is also a principal owner of the British football club of Fulham. A large amount of his business also sits in the manufacturing and automobile parts sector. His net worth is priced at $7 billion.

2. Anwer Parwaz Early Life Anwer Parwaz is currently the second richest Pakistani in the world and was born in Pakistan, during 1953. His full name is Muhammad Anwer Parwaz. He owns company shares in both his home country and in England as well. Business Parwaz is both the founder and chairman of Pakistan’s second largest cement company, titled the Bestway Group. He also has influence over the country’s 3rd biggest United Bank Limited branch. He currently resides in the British capital of London and has a total net worth of $4.1 billion.

3. Mian Muhammad Mansha Early Life Mian Muhammad Mansha is currently the third richest Pakistani in the world and was born in the region of Chiniot, Pakistan in 1947. Having migrated to Bengal around a decade before his birth, Mansha’s family returned to Punjab where he was born. Mian Muhammad’s father began a cotton business in Punjab, which later came to be known as ‘Nishat Textile Mills.’ Business Following in his father’s footsteps, several decades later Mansha set up the country’s largest textile complex in the city of Faisalabad, before opening another complex near to Lahore. Mansha also founded the country’s second largest commercial bank, and is currently the highest tax-paying person in Pakistan. His total net worth is prized at $3.6 billion.

4. Malik Riaz Early Life Malik Riaz Hussain is currently the fourth richest Pakistani in the world and was born in the region of West Punjab, Pakistan in 1954. His father was a contractor who underwent monumental losses in business, causing his son to become a high school dropout. Riaz delved into a range of professions, including being a clerk, painter and then finally a contractor like his father himself. Business Riaz is both a chairman and founder of Bahria Town, Asia’s largest real estate company, which he vouches for its trustworthiness and security. Riaz identifies himself as a liberal and is known for hiring a majority female workforce as he claims to value their work ethic and diligence. His net worth is at a total of around $1.2 billion.

5. Asif Ali Zardari Early Life Asif Ali Zardari is currently the fifth richest Pakistani in the world and was born in the region of Karachi, Pakistan in 1955. He is the only son of his father Hakim Ali Zardari, who is a prominent land owner and tribal chief. He also has Iraqi heritage on the paternal side of his family. Business Zardari is the political chairman of the PPP – Pakistani People’s Party. Most of his income is generated from the ownership of many sugar mills across the country. He has become renowned for his marriage to Benazir Bhutto, who had her own party come into power during 1988. Zardari’s net worth is at a total of $1.8t billion.

6. Nawaz Sharif Early Life Nawaz Sharif is currently the sixth richest Pakistani in the world and was born in the region of Punjab, Pakistan in 1949. His family migrated from Kashmir for business, suiting to the career of his father who was an industrialist. His nephew Hamza is a member of the national assembly, whereas his brother Shehbaz is a Chief Minister of Punjab. Sharif holds a law degree from his home university in Lahore. Business Sharif is the ex-prime minister of Pakistan. He is currently the chairman of the country’s largest political party; Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN). He is also owner of his own self titled business group, and generates other income from his various sugar and steel mills across Pakistan. His net worth is $1.5 billion.

7. Sadruddin Hashwani Early Life Sadruddin Hashwani is currently the seventh richest Pakistani in the world and was born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1940. As well as being a successful businessman, Hashwani is also a bestselling author for his memoir entitled Truth Always Prevails (2014). Business Hashwani is founder of the Hashoo Group, which specialise in award winning hotels and resorts which have been ranked 5 stars. He has formerly opened Holiday Inn hotels and been owner of Pakistan’s largest cotton company. He and his son have been mentioned in the Panama Papers, and he has openly expressed his support for the institutions of him home country, especially the military and the abilities of Pakistani citizens. His net worth is $1.1 billion.

8. Nasir Schon Early Life Full name Syed Nasir Schon, this prominent businessman is currently the eighth richest Pakistani in the world and was born in his home country in 1957. Schon’s father Ather was an ex-pilot in the Pakistani International Air force. Schon himself was one of the first persons in Pakistan to be owner of a Rolls-Royce luxury vehicle. Business Schon is currently chairman of his self-titled Schon group. The company is renowned for real state, IT start-ups and various types of investment. Nasir Schon also chairs the Pakistani super league team of the Multan Sultans. Schon’s net worth is currently priced at $1 billion.

9. Chaudhary Family Early Life The Chaudhry family are currently ranked at 9th place in the list of the top richest Pakistanis individuals in the world. They are also the richest family in the country overall and currently reside in Bahawalpur, Punjab. Business The Chaudhary family have ownership of many sugar and steel mills across the country as well as Nestle Plants. They also own various car washing manufacturing plants and chemical industries in the country. The total net worth of the Chaudhary family is $950 million.

Rafiq Habib Early Life Rafiq Habib is currently the tenth richest Pakistani in the world and was born in Pakistan in 1937. Although he just makes the cut for the top 10 list, Habib is renowned for his businesses in various sectors all across the country. Business Habib is the chairman of his own business group; Habib House. He is also chairman for Thal Limited, a trucks and motorcycle company, Shabbir Tiles, and Habib Insurance company. Habib has funded his own university foundation and the Masoomen Hospital trust among his other business ventures. His network is priced at $900 million.

AW Facts Did you know? The country of India is established as the highest producer of mangoes in the world, with almost 12 million tons grown each year!

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December 2018

Failed Venezuela A SIGN OF RELIEF FOR CHRISTIANS wants IN PAKISTAN AS ASIA BIBI FREED Hero Aung Suu Kyi, a Gold OF BLASPHEMY CHARGES By Khushboo Chauhan

The Bolivarian republican of Venezuela, a Latin American country with considerable reserves of minerals is currently suffering from Hyperinflation. According to OPEC, Venezuela has one of the largest reserves of oil and which cover about 98% of the exports. Venezuela also has one of the largest gold reserves in the world. As the country’s oil production plummeted due to reduced capital expenditures and reduced activities of foreign partners in the oil sector, the economy got a serious jerk and President Nicolas Maduro had started mining of gold reserves to stable down and out the economy. In November, US President Donald Trump acted and imposed sanctions on the gold export of Venezuela by an executive order. Later, Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton said in a speech at Miami Dade College, “The Maduro regime has used this sector as a bastion to finance illicit activities, to fill its coffers, and to support criminal groups”. He added further that Mr. Trump evades anyone in the United States from dealing with people involved in “corrupt or deceptive” gold sales from Venezuela. After imposition of sanctions by the United States of America, as a very close ally of US and critique of the Venezuelan government, the United Kingdom came into action. Now the Bank of England is refusing to release 14 ton Venezuela gold bars, worth about $550 and £420, while showing reservations over Venezuela’s intentions Govt. of UK is demanding a clarification about Venezuela plans for gold. “There are concerns that Mr Maduro may seize the gold, which is owned by the state, and sell it for personal gain,” several media reports stated. But in an interview to Sputnik International a campaigner at Hands Off Venezuela Jorge Martin, “this gold doesn’t belong to the Bank of England or the British government — it belongs to Venezuela. So this is nothing short of buccaneering. They are basically withholding something which is not theirs”. He added that, there are different campaigns in the EU for more sanction in Venezuela. The campaign was headed by right-wing government in Spain. The United States of America and United Kingdom are both allies in imposing reservations over the Venezuelan government in future plans regarding gold. So, in short the Bank of England refuses to hand over Venezuela’s gold. By Muhammad Husnain

In a historic ruling of a Christian woman Asia Bibi, charged on blasphemy was acquitted after spending eight years on death row by the Supreme Court of Pakistan headed by Justice Saqib Nisar and Justice Asif Khosa. This verdict came as a distress for Pakistan and its people who support strong Blasphemy laws and took to the streets as dogmatists. There has been a turbulence and violent protests from Pakistan ever since. Asia and her family have been getting death threats. Her husband said they have pleaded for asylum sensing the danger. Reports suggest a lot of western countries have come forward in committing to provide Asia Bibi and her family asylum, but the Pakistan government confirms to pulling her out from seeking asylum in any other country claiming measures to put an end to the violent protests. These extremists have surrounded the court and demanded Asia Bibi to be hanged saying she deserved to be killed. Islamist leader for Tahreak-e-labaik (TLP) party blocked roads in major cities for several days. This historic verdict has not only brought the blasphemy laws to question in Pakistan, the family in question to danger but also the judges who gave a 34 page speech on how the laws have been misled and people misguided to threat. ACCUSATIONS ON ASIA BIBI It all started when Asia Bibi also known as Asia Noreen had an argument while sharing a bowl of water with her fellow workers in a field, where they were working as farm labourers in June 2009. The women made a remark on Asia’s faith and inappropriateness to share a cup with a Christian, she on the other hand as claimed by the women made an offensive remark on Prophet Mohammad. This was unacceptable to the women around her and caused a fued. Asia Bibi and her family were beaten up. Police investigation says she con-

fessed to blasphemy and was then taken into custody. Despite glaring discrepancies found in the witnesses and evidence, she was found guilty in November 2010 in the lower court. People rejoiced her sentencing, and have been awaiting her death row ever since. PAKISTAN’S BLASPHEMY LAWS India’s British rulers first structured the religious laws but it was only until 1927 that these laws came into force. Pakistan succeeded to them after partition. Between 1980 & 1986, these laws were Islamicised by the then Military government of General Zia-ul-Haq. Laws created by the British clearly that it is a crime to offend a religious gathering or funeral ground, debase a place of worship or object. A maximum punishment of 1 to 10 years would be awarded with or without fine. The year 1980 and further in Pakistan saw an expansion and addition of blasphemy laws. They were mended to gain power and target over the minority groups in Pakistan. They now have the power of giving capital punishment to anyone who insults Islam. HISTORIC VERDICT CAUSING A NATIONWIDE STIR This is one of a case in Pakistan. Asia Bibi being a Non-Muslim woman spent eight years in confinement on blasphemy charges in a country described by the UN as a place where practising religious freedom is considered distant. Pakistan has a total of 1.6% Christian population which makes them a

minority who are always targeted by the extremists groups. The country has a long history of convicting its people including muslims in the name of blasphemy but in real settling scores for their personal issues. Reports say, since 1990, 65 people have been convicted in the name of blasphemy. Politicians, albeit have supported these convictions to maintain and increase their support group. The case could not be what it is made to seem like. As it is suggested by the police investigation, Asia Bibi confessed to blasphemy when she was beaten up. This could clearly be a case of settling personal scores. It is made clear from the fact that a formal police complaint was only made 5 days after the incident took place. Not only has her release brought a wave of triumph for the Christians in Pakistan but it has also brought about a change in the judiciary system not being intimidated by the vigilantes. A month after she was imprisoned, people of Pakistan maintained their stand of getting her a death sentence, but the country also viewed some ministers coming in support of her; unfortunately this was not taken liberally by the locals. She was visited by the then Governor of Punjab & a PPP leader Salman Taseer who was gunned down by his own extremist Islamist bodyguard in Jan 2011. A few months later, Pakistan minister for minority affairs Shahbaz Bhatti was shot to death for visiting Asia Bibi and saying that he believed her non-gulity and desire to see her acquitted of this case. This made it an even high profile case and had everyone’s eyes on it causing the Lahore court from abrogating it. Justice Nisar has set an example in the state of Pakistan by choosing not to get swayed by the masses but has taken the deliberate risk of becoming a target of vigilante group.

New high for the e-commerce industry

By Anshu Sachdeva

E-commerce giant alibaba recently recorded a $1bn in sales in a mere 85 seconds, creating history! Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd smashed its own 2017 record, this year with a new high of $24.15 billion sales in under sixteen hours, creating history yet again, surpassing Amazon’s Prime Day, US shopping holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Alibaba said there were around 180,000 brands participating at the single’s event. The first $1Bn sales happened in mere 85 seconds, at the Singles’ Day, also called “Double 11”, the world’s biggest online sales event, a 24-hour sales fury on November 11, 2018, outdoing US shopping holiday Black Friday.

Almost $10 billion in sales happened in the first hour of the event. Consumers went bonkers over the event. Best selling items included smartphones and other consumer electronics, while staples like milk powder and diapers also sold like hot cakes. Alibaba claims to have a 666 million active monthly users. Alibaba kicked off the event with panache, featured US singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator, and a shoeshopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance. This is expected to be their last November sale event with founder and chairman Jack Ma on board. Current CEO Daniel Zhang is expected to take over, hopefully making it even larger.

“That trend [of a rising Chinese middle class] is not going to stop, trade war or no trade war,” Alibaba Executive ViceChairman Joe Tsai said in a company blog. Tsai estimates that China’s middle class would almost triple, from 300 million now to 850 million by 2030. We could see these events getting bigger by every passing year, today as you read, a mere 17.5 percent of Chinese commerce is conducted online. With digital taking over the world, we can only imagine the scale if online retail penetration increases in China. Today, Alibaba is trying to strike a balance between constructing more bricks-andmortar ‘smart stores’ while maintaining a push towards digitization, its riding high and creating history.

About the Author: Anshu is the founder and business head of boutique research and content firm based out of India. She has over ten years of corporate experience in consulting and research. She holds a masters degree in business management and is passionate about the application of research to do business faster, better, cheaper. She can be reached at anshu.sachdeva@researchpal.in

Betrayer of Humankind The worldwide Human Rights Activist Group, Amnesty International, has stripped Aung Suu Kyi of their highest title. The ‘Ambassador of Conscience’ award was given to her in 2009, whilst she was living under house arrest for her activism. However, now she has been rebuked of such an honour, with the group citing her inability to speak out for the discriminated Rohingya. Approximately 700,000 of these civilians have faced a barbaric military crackdown in Bangladesh, which Suu Kyi has treated with indifference. According to investigators of the UN council, these innocent people have been victims of random killings and gang rapes with the intent to wipe out their minority population. It is believed that Suu Kyi has even declared complete “denial” of these violent crimes, which she should be responsible for protesting against. Amnesty leader Kumi Naidoo said: “Without acknowledgement of the horrific crimes against the community, it is hard to see how the government can take steps to protect them [the Rohingya] from future atrocities.” He further commented on the day that the organisation removed her prize: “We are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights.” Suu Kyi’s attitude has come as a surprise to many countries’ governments and humans rights activist groups. Her administration team have been blamed for labelling Rohingya peoples as “terrorists”, and not attempting to repeal Bangladesh’s repressive laws. In September, Suu Kyi was defending the imprisonment of two reporters, who were receiving jail sentences several years long. They had been arrested for reporting against the Rohingya genocide crimes against the Muslims living in that area. The sentences also protested against by the UN and other human rights groups as a misdemeanour against justice and freedom of speech. Suu Kyi is an ex-student at Oxford University, where her honoured portrait has since been removed. The ‘Freedom of the City’ award which she won there has also been stripped from her since November of last year. “We are dismayed that the the government has not only failed to repeal or amend repressive laws but has actively used them to curb freedom of expression, and arrest and imprison human rights defenders, journalists and other peaceful activists... We will continue to fight for justice and human rights in Myanmar -- with or without her [Suu Kyi’s] support,” Amnesty’s Naidoo said.

By Manisha Bhanot


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December 2018

India Breaks Records by Building World’s Tallest Statue By Manisha Bhanot

19

History Made as Muslim Women Voted in at US Mid-term Elections

Two Muslim women have been elected to positions in the House of Representatives, the larger of the two chambers that make up the US congress.

By: Will Rymer

You’ve heard of the renowned ‘Statue of Liberty’, now get ready for the ‘Statue of Unity.’ India has surpassed the world’s historic monuments by unveiling its own tribute of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the country’s former leader of independence in Gujrat. The statue is bronze-platted and stands ate a gigantic 182m, whereas lady Liberty in New York is only 93m tall, far surpassing the almost equally as famous Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, which is 38m. The statue has been valued with at roughly a 29.9 billion rupee estimate. With the amount of money that has been invested in the project, India are expecting a high-turnover of tourist income. Since it has first been opened in the month of November, lifts have been pre-installed in the statue to take around 15,000 to the viewing gallery per day.

The unveiling day of the statue saw attendance from Indian police offers, the Air Force and local families as well. The statue, designed by sculptor Ram V Sutar, had flowers thrown upon it and was adorned with hundreds of green, orange and white balloons. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the masterpiece “a symbol of India’s integrity and resolve.” Mr Modi has been particularly invested in the project, he too has his home-state in Gujrat, like the statue depicting the ex-deputy Prime Minister. The Gujrati government have paid over half of the sponsorship funds for the project, whereas public donations and neighbouring governments have provided the rest of the funds. However, not all of the community have been happy about the unveiling of the statue. It is reported that the police

force has been stationed at various intersections surrounding the statue to protect it from local protesters. These people; consisting of farmers and landworkers, are demanding financial compensation for the land that the statue has taken over, which they say has damaged their livelihood. Chotu Vasava, local legislator to the area said: “Tribal groups have been exploited by different governments, the ruling BJP [Bharatiya Janata party] is repeating it again… “I am not against Sardar, but what is the use of the statue if the people on the land have to suffer and are moved from their homes?” However, the statue is not expected to remain India’s tallest for long as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Memorial, standing at an impressive 212m, is soon to surpass it in the record book.

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One of the biggest stories to come out of the US mid-term elections on the 6th November was the success of both female and minority candidates, most notably victories for Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar who became the first Muslim women to be elected to the US congress. Tlaib won a seat in Michigan’s 13th congressional district, while Omar won in Minnesota’s fifth congressional district. As well as being noteworthy due to them breaking new ground in US politics, these victories are also significant given the political climate in the US. Tlaib has said, of her election, “We changed the course of history at a time we thought it was impossible”. This is likely because the election of Donald Trump in 2016 marked a turning point in US politics which saw a campaign be successful despite targeting certain groups in society, none more so than Mexicans and Muslims. This is evident in one of Trump’s pledges, which was then enforced by executive order, which has seen people from several Muslim-majority countries banned from entering the US (this was upheld by the Supreme Court in January). In light of this, the new representa-

tion of Muslim women in the lower chamber of Congress, the House of Representatives, which has traditionally been dominated by Christian males (who made up 90.7% of Congress in 2017, according to a study by the Pew research centre in January of that year), shows that groups that could potentially be marginalised under the current administration will be represented. It is also significant that the Democrats have taken the Republicans’ majority in the House of Representatives, meaning that they will be far better equipped to influence legislation. As all Muslims in congress are Democrats, the party’s new-found power after four years of Republican dominance over both chambers of the legislative branch will allow for Muslim representation and far better protection against an administration which could be seen as prejudicial towards Islam. Overall, this marks a big step forward in terms of minority rights and representation, and also helps to shake up a legislature which has been traditionally dominated by white Christian men and has not historically reflected the multicultural nature of US society.


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December 2018

Aviation Gathering:

A boost to Immense Knowledge

15th Nov. 2018 , 4th Aviation Gathering was held at Gulf Aviation Academy Bahrain. It was hosted outside the country, in the kingdom of Bahrain on the side-lines of Bahraini International Air show of the world. Now first let’s know about this gathering. What is Aviation Gathering all about ? This gathering is organized to meet recognized aviators, people from the wide field of aviation who participate to greet and exchange knowledge and experience .The founder of Aviation Gathering is Ahmed Balfaqih ( Instagram a/c – a_balfaqih) there are 4 members who are the organizers of this gathering. Including 2 pilots, a female industrial engineering student and a female aerospace engineering student. The motive behind this event is to spread knowledge and experience among aviators and people in the field of aviation in addition to attract and guide youth who seek careers in the aviation field. Till now they have successfully conducted 3 events in U.A.E . Their first event was organized in March 2018. 1st Aviation Gathering was held in Al- Raha hotel as an outdoor event. V.I.P guest for this event was H.H. Zayed Bin Ahmed Al – Nahyan. 2nd Aviation Gathering was held in Dubai Marina ( Sea trip on a yacht ) , V.I.P guest was Al Fursan group leader. 3rd Aviation Gathering was held in Royal Cinema, V.I.P guest was Captain Khalfan Al Mazroouie , Al Fursan leader and many expert pilots as well as Captain Salma Al blooshi. Captain Khalfan Al Mazroouie ( Instagram a/c - @capt7773) shared his experience and said “I was invited as a guest in their 3rd aviation gathering. It was quite interesting & informative, there were group discussions & slideshows on various aviation topics. Overall I think this gathering is very helpful for

the people whi have made goals to build their career in aviation. I feel honoured and privileged to be a part of this gathering and thanks to the whole team of Aviation Gathering for inviting me for their event.” The 4th Aviation Gathering which was hosted to attract the people from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. There were different topics of discussions like Recent Aviation Disasters, Females in Aviation, Common mistakes in Aviation etc. Organizers of the event had divided the discussion topics among different panel groups which includes - pilots, aircraft engineers and leading social media aviation accounts . The guest list consist of people who are working in various fields of aviation industry like – Hend Alawadhi (Instagram A/c - @ hend_alawadhi) – The first female Bahraini Aviation Engineer. Suaad Alshamsi ( Instagram a/c - @ suaadalshamsi ) – The first Female Emirati Aviation Engineer. Nasser ( Instagram a/c - @alfursan_ leader) – Leader of UAE National Aerobatic Team. Captain Hassan ( Instagram a/c – captain_hmg)

Captain Feras ( Instagram a/c - @ capt_feras) SalemZ ( Instagram a/c - @abudhabiaviation) Mohamed S. Ali ( Instagram a/c - @ bahrain_wings) – Airgraft Technician Arab Aviation ( Instagram a/c - @ arabaviation) Bader Models (Instagram a/c -@ badermodels) – They make Aircraft models in Bahrain Shereen – ( Instagram a/c - @shereenalmazroui) – Aviation Engineer Mohsin Albeshr ( Instagram a/c - @ mohsinalbeshr) – Aircraft Engineer Talel Alattar – ( Instagram a/c – taleb_alattar) – A Pilot & a Teacher Hussain Hamada ( Instagram a/c - @ hamada09) – Engineer Ahmad ( Instagram a/c - @ahmad. alotalba) Pilot Salma AlBaloushi( Instagram a/c – pilotsalma) – First Emirati Female Pilot & Hamad Al Sheryani ( Instagram a/c – alfursan_11) Member of UAE Aerobatic Team they both have given their continuous support throughout, in all the 4 gatherings. There were discussions & various presentations held by the panel members. People who attended the event was very interestingly listening and grasping the views shared by the experts. For the first time in my life I saw that audience were not getting bored in this event. Instead some were noting down the important points from discussions which were going on by the panel members, some were talking to the expert pilots and discussing on the topics which they want to know more about it, there was a group photo sessions, thanks giving gifts from the side of Aviation Gathering team, all around were the smiling faces talking & greeting each other. They created a friendly atmosphere where people

not known to each other became friends with each other who are working in this industry. I interviewed some people who were the panel members of this event about how was their experience like – Suaad sultan alshamsi ( First uae female aircraft engineer and one of the co finder of woman in aviation middle east chapter.) said , “ The topic I was talking about in the conference was the challenges that face women in the aviation industry and the new generation who is planning to enter this industry. Starting with my story from 12 years ago I never found anyone who can help me in this industry and advice me about what positive and negative challenges I have to face working in this profession. It was a detailed discussion topic which included my professional life.” While covering this aviation news event at the end, I will say this gathering is a special & unique event in the aviation industry. It’s the best way to learn & educate ourselves and not only this we also get to know about so many expert pilots, aircraft engineers, technicians, aviation media channels under one roof. I would like to thank the founder of Aviation Gathering Ahmed Balfaqih who gave me permission to cover article on their event . Nouf who helped me a lot continuously in providing the detailed information of the event. From the side of Asian World Newspaper UK we wish the whole team of Aviation Gathering a great success for all their future events and endeavours. Aviation Gathering ( Instagram a/c @aviationgathering ) By : Rida Khan ( Aviation Author ) (Instagram a/c - @aviationauthor. ridakhan)

Dara Singh’s huge statue unveiled on his 90th birthday

MOHALI: The city of Sahibzada Ajit Singh (the eldest son of Guru Gobind Singh) and popularly known as ‘Mohali’ among locals and other parts of the country, was abuzz on the 90th birthday celebration of the legendary wrestler – actor and politician Dara Singh on 19th November 2018. A life-size statue made out three different materials this outstanding personality and popularly known as ‘Rustom-E-Hind’ was unveiled on that pious day; almost 6-years after his death.It was done by philanthropist S.P.S. Oberoi of Sarbat Da Bhala Trust. All the family members including Vindu Dara Singh were present at this event. Mohali has emerged as one of the most important cities in Punjab and the rest of Northern India. The statue situated at National Highway 21 near the Dara Studio chowk is an additional centre of attraction in this rapidly developing IT Hub of the state. Speaking on the occasion, his son, Vindu Dara Singh who was emotional said, “My father as a wrestler had remained undefeated in more than 500 matches. He being born in Amritsar will be an inspiration to the youngsters of the Punjab. Adding to it we are also waging war against drug menace in Punjab too.”

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Women owned businesses contribute a staggering £105bn to UK economy but some sectors remain elusive Women owned businesses contribute a staggering £105bn to UK economy, but female entrepreneurialism in manufacturing and other high growth sectors remains more elusive. • New research published by FSB, launched at Facebook Community Boost, reveals an estimated 40% increase in UK economic contribution and a 26% increase in employment generated by women owned businesses. • A quarter of private sector employment (23.85%) is now calculated to be generated by women owned and women led businesses. • Diversity in manufacturing and higher growth sectors is still a challenge, with a reduction in the proportion of women owned firms in these sectors. Women are increasingly becoming the job creators and growth drivers in the UK, according to new research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). A new report, ‘Supporting Women’s Enterprise in the UK: The Economic Case’, shows that women owned businesses are now calculated to contribute a staggering £105bn to the UK economy, an increase of 40% since comprehensive data was last collected and analysed. This equates to women owned businesses contributing £36k

Gross Value Add (GVA) for each person they employ, 6.3% of total UK GVA. Despite the rise in female founders overall, the proportionate contribution from women owned businesses in manufacturing has declined. Worryingly, the report findings show that over the period studied (2012 – 2015) there has been a reduction in the contribution of the manufacturing sector to women owned businesses’ GVA (from 14.9% to 11%) and proportion of employment (from 8.7% to 7.1%). This is concerning because manufacturing is a relatively high profit sector. A larger proportion of women owned businesses are in the care sector which has low profit.

The contribution women make to the UK economy is even more significant when the estimated GVA of women led businesses is included. The research shows that women led and women owned businesses are estimated to contribute £221bn representing 13.3% of total GVA. Across UK nations, using available data, the estimates show that Wales (7.24% of GVA) and Northern Ireland (9.23% of GVA) lead the way in the contribution women owned businesses make to their economies. Northern Ireland has seen the biggest increase since 2012 with just under 4% increase in GVA. The ‘Supporting Women’s Enterprise in

the UK: The Economic Case’ report is being launched at Facebook’s Community Boost event taking place on 13 and 14 November at London’s Millbank Tower. Across the two days, attendees will be invited to join a series of freeto-enter workshops and talks designed to help boost their digital skills, expand their networks and grow their businesses both here in the UK and further afield. Commenting on the launch of the report with Facebook, Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s VP EMEA said: “We all have a role to play in addressing the diversity imbalances that exist around the world. It’s unacceptable that our culture is still hard-wired against women in leadership roles. Until that changes we need to find ways to get behind the women who want to step forward and lead, to give them the skills and courage to succeed. Through our #SheMeansBusiness programme, which empowers thousands of entrepreneurial women by offering them training, tools and practical advice, we discovered that one of the main barriers holding women back is a lack of confidence and digital skills. Together with the Federation of Small Businesses, Enterprise Nation and AllBright, we’ve already trained 13,000 women in the UK this year, providing them with the tools, networks and know-how to start a business and to grow it. We have big ambitions for 2019 and I can’t stress enough how important it is to work together to achieve change.”

Lina Bourdon, FSB’s Women in Enterprise lead, said: “Developing and supporting women’s enterprise is proven to be critically important for economic prosperity. The Government must now address this untapped potential with a range of suitable measures, such as career advice, role models, and access to business support and finance.” Carolyn Currie, CEO of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, which compiled the report for FSB, said: “Our research shows that women owned businesses are providing critical employment in communities across the UK and now represent 11% of total private sector employment. We must ensure that this momentum continues and we are calling for economic development organisations to step forward and provide the needs based support that these businesses need to continue growing. With dedicated resources and support, women owned businesses have the opportunity to harness the momentum already created and continue to grow their economic impact and value across all areas of the UK and all sectors.”

AW Facts Did you know? Around 543,000 new businesses are started each month.


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December 2018

Birmingham Airport Readies Moroccan Airline for Boarding

By Manisha Bhanot

Birmingham Airport, Solihull has partnered with the airline Air Arabia Moroc and is now welcoming passengers to use their services for the first time. The airline is Morocco’s biggest cheap budget carrier, to it existing 50 other partnerships. To mark the opening of the new contract, Air Arabia Moroc has launched its first no-stop service from Birmingham to Agadir, the prominent Moroccan city in the continent of Africa. To celebrate the event, both Birmingham and Moroc airline hostesses, attendants and cabin crew gathered together to congratulate each other and offer their hospitalities. The flight will be operating on Tuesdays and Fridays and is most likely to be scheduled before mid-day on both occasions. The service will mean more convenient and regular travel, at a more convenient rate to and from the

destinations for both UK and foreign passengers. EAdel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, said: “We are pleased to link Birmingham to our base

in Agadir with direct weekly flights. Birmingham is the latest city to join Air Arabia Maroc’s ever growing destination network in the United Kingdom and Europe offering customer a wider choice

for affordable air travel.” Tom Screen, Birmingham Airport’s Acting Aviation Director, released the following statement: “We are really pleased to welcome Air Arabia Maroc to Birmingham Airport. This new service to Agadir will be popular with holiday makers seeking sun and great beaches anytime of the year.” “Agadir is a gem on Morocco’s coastline with spacious streets, palm-lined boulevards and stunning beaches and so it makes a great addition to the choice of destinations from our Midlands airport” he also added. The new partnership is allowing access to one of many new weekly routes for sun-seekers in Britain during the course of chilly winter. Other flights being added to Birmingham Airport include travel to Morocco and Marsa Alam, Hurghada, and Egypt overall.

Virgin Trains scraps Friday afternoon peak restrictions

Savings by Destination are as follows: Birmingham £60.50 Chester £94.55 Coventry £53.50 Glasgow £111.25 Liverpool £115.55 Manchester £125.55 Preston £129.95 Stafford £75.20 Stoke-on-Trent £105.20

Virgin Trains scraps Friday afternoon peak restrictions Virgin Trains has consigned Friday afternoon peak restrictions from London Euston, enabling thousands of people to start the weekend earlier, for less. Restrictions have been removed permanently from 2 November 2018, following a 13 week trial that has also helped dramatically reduce congestion on key

evening services. During the trial, the popular 19:00 London Euston to Manchester service saw the average maximum number of passengers fall by 61%. Normally this would be the first service available for passengers with off-peak tickets. Similar benefits were seen on the West Midlands route where the average maximum number of passengers on the

19:03 London Euston to Birmingham New Street fell by 75%. Impact of Friday Peak Removal on first off-peak service Over the course of the trial in excess of 3,500 additional journeys were made each Friday, as visitors flocked to major cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow for a weekend break. But despite driving up numbers travelling, the promotion has also led to a reduction in congestion by spreading passenger demand more evenly throughout the day. “Rather than everyone waiting for the first off-peak train on Friday evening, people can now travel whenever’s convenient for them,” explained Sarah Copley, Commercial Director at Virgin Trains. “This change means we’ve been able to reduce congestion, whilst helping people save money and make an earlier start to their weekends.” While the cheapest tickets are always available in advance, those who decide to travel on the spur of the moment can now secure a cheaper off-peak ticket any time after 9.30am on a Friday, instead of waiting until 7pm. A customer arriving at Euston Station at 4pm and buying a ticket for the next train to Manchester will see their fare reduced by £125.55. The decision has been welcomed by both staff and passengers, with positive comments on Virgin Trains internal communications channels and social media feeds.

One in three small firms held back by lack of skills as Brexit clock ticks

Responding to a fall in the unemployment rate from 4.3% to 4.1% over the last year and a flash productivity estimate indicating that output per hour decreased by 0.4% in Q3 2018, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “More than one in three small firms now say lack of access to the right skills is holding back growth – up from roughly a quarter at this time last year. “One in five small employers rely on staff from the EU. With net migration from Europe falling, it’s increasingly a challenge for firms to recruit from the vital pool of EU talent based here in the UK. If we don’t see a pro-business withdrawal agreement signed before the month is out, this challenge will become even more pronounced and entrenched. The Brexit clock is ticking. “It’s critical to remember that 95 per cent of small firms have never made use of the UK’s points-based immigration system. If they’re lumbered with complex paperwork to bring in EU staff post-Brexit that will cause a significant drag on the billions they contribute to the economy each year. “With the labour market so tight, we also need to look at bringing those furthest from the workplace into employment. The Government must deliver on its promise of a national insurance holiday for small businesses that hire society’s most vulnerable”. “Increasing productivity in the current climate is a tough ask. How are you supposed to invest for the future when you don’t know what the future looks like? More than two thirds of small firms are not planning to increase investment over the coming quarter, and it’s hard to blame them. “Faced with a situation where trading arrangements could be turned on their head in four months’ time, a lot of business owners are understandably delaying big decisions. If we want to see firms devoting funds to training, R&D and new equipment – thereby increasing productivity – we need to see a Brexit deal that protects their interests. That starts with a meaningful transition period.”


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December 2018

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Will a Points Based System Help Curb Labour Shortage in UK?

By Priyanka Dutta

Many UK firms have faced a new problem recently. The problem is that of labour shortage. The number of migrants working in UK firms has reduced and this has caused a problem for them. HR body the CIPD has reported that with the approach of Brexit, there is a reduction in interest towards the UK as a destination for the migrant workforce. This is true for both EU and non-EU migrants who work in the UK. Over a thousand employers in UK have suggested that these vacancies are increasingly becoming difficult to fulfil. As a result, this is causing employers to pay more salary to the employees working in their firms. The short-term outlook for employment is strong, but the shortage of labour and skills is continuously on the rise in UK. The latest official data suggests that the non-UK born workers in UK has reduced by 58,000 for the time period from April to June last year. In the same time period in 2018, the figure is 40000 for the non-EU born workforce. This can be contrasted with an increase of 263,000 for a similar time period between 2016 and 2017. As one can understand, the concept that UK is an attractive place to live and work for non-UK born people (including non-EU citizens) is slowly fading and constantly away from the minds of the immigrants. Gerwyn Davies of the CIPD mentioned that this has

happened during the period of good employment growth and low unemployment prospects. As a result of this trend, recruitment difficulties have been heightened more for the employers looking for immigrants to be recruited in their firms. If more support is not provided and the system is not made simple, fair and affordable for low skilled works, then there is a risk that non-UK born individuals will be discouraged from using the post-Brexit system. Failure to do so in the light of a tight labour situation will further lead to negative situations for the existing work force in the UK firms. High workloads, loss of business for the firms are some of the negative situations that can arise if ample support is not provided.

The CIPD while looking at the future prospects of work culture in the UK further highlighted that UK labour supply will be constrained from the year 2021 with the introduction of new migration restrictions for the EU citizens. This will especially be the case with low skilled workers in UK. Employers have become concerned that recruiting EU citizens for low skilled works as proposed by the Migration advisory Committee will not be enough to meet the recruitment needs. There is a chance that points based system for non-EU immigrants will be similarly adopted for EU citizens from 2021 as well. The report also found out that a third of employers who hire non-EU citizen mention that the burden of using the points-based system are very high.

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Uber in Business with the Saudi Arabian Government The San Francisco based startup received $3.5 billion on the 1st of June 2016. This wasn’t just a lot of money transferred to them but now a record. The most substantial single investment from a foreign government to a venturebased startup ever-and it still is. In 2016 Yasir Al Rumayyan, managing director of kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund joined Uber’s board of directors. The investment helped Uber settle its war with Didi chuxing in China, and fortify its position against rival Lyft Inc. The Saudi government owns more than 10% of Uber’s shares. The financial opportunity in Saudi Arabia first occured on kalanik’s radar when Uber’s executive David was on tour. David Pluoffe had a three-city tour to Cairo, Dubai and Riyadh where he met Saudi Officials including the public investment fund manager. Apple invested $1 billion in Didi in May 2016 as for Uber well they panicked, although Uber was making money at the time it was under the use of unprofitable businesses all over the world. The deal with the Government that has implicated in a Journalist’s murder The primary requirement the public investment fund wanted was a board seat, the CEO made that possible and the board was expanded, a new seat for the Public investment fund as well as three other board seats that the CEO would be able to fill. Time came for the announcement to take place, it wasn’t until then that there was hesitation inside Uber’s policy and communications team about the deal with this government.

By Manuel Silva From gender discrimination in the country and in particular the ban on woman driving. Uber’s policy team added Princess Reema bint Bander Al Saud. A royal family member and a woman’s voice rights advocate in the region to its policy advisory board. In 2017 things didn’t look so good, allegations were made that Uber violated bribery laws in its businesses around the world. The results of the investigations are still unclear. A group of financial investors turned against Kalanick that summer, kicking off another power struggle. Facing an intervention that did not include Al-Rumayyan, Kalanick announced a sabbatical, a week after that he resigned. In the aftermath, former Uber investor Benchmark filed a lawsuit aginst the company, in a claim that he had been misled about the stability of the business when it agreed to give Kalanick control three plus board seats. Benchmark ultimately dropped the case as part of a truce with Kalanick. By then, he had already filled the seats. Dara Khrosrowshahi the new Uber CEO didn’t make himself present on the Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh that took place in October due to the reports about Jamal Kashoggi. Turkish authorities have informed reporters they believe a team of Saudi security agents killed and dismembered Kashoggi in Turkish embassy. Saudi Arabia has denied being involved in the disappearance of Khashoggi. Saudi Arabia has since allowed women to drive, and both Uber and local competitor named Careem said they would hire women drivers in the country.


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December 2018

Common SME mistakes and how to avoid them

By Anurag Srivastava

You could be running ahead in your business or there may be some catching up to do. Regardless of your current situation, there are some basic things to look out for running small businesses well. Even as there are no thumb-rules, some general principles do hold. Businesses that tank often ignore these. This is despite smart entrepreneurs ready and working with products and services that have an effective demand. Watch out and check yourself against the following five points. It could be a smart hedge against failure. Avoid the pits on the way to see your business alive and kicking. Read on! Did you put your marketing and sales in with a first- things- first box along with the other essentials? It may be time to review your marketing and sales strategy especially if you believe that it’s a step that follows other important layouts that a business needs like infrastructure and staff. Entrepreneurs often treat marketing as secondary owing to many fallacies. One is the misplaced belief that great products and services find the customers on their own. There is a certain consumer outlook where lack of familiarity breeds indifference. You don’t want the customer to look over or around your stuff on the shelf. Alright, you do have a great team and a sticky product to boast of but why should you expect your customers to find it out or you? You did not leave the day job to make a product that only those who know you, know about! Do reach out, meet people, understand their needs and tastes, finish the customer and market research and get going on the sales strategy and marketing from day one or just as you get the wake-up call. And be specific. Drop all the assumptions and general foggy notions that you may be holding. As an example, facebook is not the only medium to reach out. It’s likely that there are additional or more effective channels: virtual and physical platforms that can catch the potential consumer of your services. Talk to entrepreneurs, get their experience and determine what advertising channels may give the best returns. Measuring costs and

benefits across different advertising channels is something that should be inbuilt along your initial foray and must be relooked every now and then. Exercise your marketing options throughout the length of your working business. It’s essential to be calculative on this front. Nothing personal, it’s the balance on your business sheet! Over a period, the balance sheets of your business become increasingly significant. No matter what your personal credit history is, the worth of a business is what it looks on the paper. Factors such as debt servicing, payments history, length of work and effective use of debts tell the financers about your current value and thereby its future potential. Being a determinant of future cash flows, these are important and very much in your court to play a fair ball with. The business credit score is the real story of your small business. It’s useful not just for leveraging funds in the future but to stay safe too if a foreclosure begins to flash up. It is what you control. The payment his-

tory and the debt utilization ratio are simple facets that you can manage for a proper business credit score. The score is used in screening business financing for your work. Not just that -it is a public record as well! You can end up with less favourable offers or could be declined credit on net terms if your business credit score is low. So be on top on all these numbers, such as your business credit card payment history- and screen it yourself periodically – to be in a good standing. When to seek financing (and when not?) So you are in a hard spot and failed to see that emergency coming! And need the cash to tide over? Not a pleasing situation to be in. You need not have waited this long to pull the emergency levers. Knowing how Shylocks work in the small business domain helps. A panic rush for loans in an emergency has adverse trade offs for it comes at a higher interest that usually have a shorter payback time.

Emergencies apart, cash in hand allows you to pick your cherries when an opportunity knocks, bridge over flow gaps and swell your capital. All these need planning. Waiting until the last moment pushes up borrowing costs that can effectively throttle an already cash starved situation. On the other hand, claims on a loan should not be made for the heck of it. Just before putting your signature on the dotted line but not earlier is the way to go. There are loan linked costs and fee. Usually it is good practice to keep the business credit line open through a business credit card. That way you pay interest on just the amount used. What’s more, you don’t scramble to put an application together when you need the funds. Cash (flow) or Tosh! You must watch the money flow for now and for the future – each with an eye at the same time! This is necessary to not just deal with the momentary survival issues but also to understand your ability to meet fixedcost obligations that are to follow. Often, business owners who don’t

face daily or weekly cash crunch overlook the fact that cash flow is one of the most consistently reliable markers of a business’s standing. Leave the details and daily figures to your accountant if you please. However it is a huge mistake if you are not clear if the business cash flow is negative or bordering on that realm. Have the numbers, not just the clues. You must read your income statement and balance sheet to understand your cash flows. Learn it if you aren’t familiar. Don’t hang around like a gambler ( or do you have a casino?) If you are sticking to a business or a part of it simply because you have put lot of time and effort into it, give space for a re-look. That is when your balance sheet is not very excitable. The situations for success are varied and you must adapt. The sunk cost fallacy is about an idea that when we have put in a lot into something, we have to keep on pursuing it even when it is not working. That’s a gambler’s hope that keeps him putting yet more money on the losing table. That’s why many investors and owners will not easily pull off a downsizing stock. Simply don’t wait too long if the fundamentals aren’t showing up. Sometimes little tweaking also works when you have spent a lot of time developing a new product or service. Read the signals well and move on. You don’t have to stop only when you come to the end of the road. Many businesses sink for hanging around too long. Mid-way you do know or will know your mistakes. And perhaps you can walk away or you can run. If you do want to keep going and thrive, do not overlook these as too simple sounding. I am writing from experience as an advisor to a few startups. So do change what you can, accept what you can’t and the cashflow is the wisdom that will allow you to know the difference between the two. Anurag Rai Srivastava manages the Delhi based Oculus Consulting that delivers start-up guidance to micro and small businesses with a focus on digital infrastructure.


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GLOBAL 16-20

BUSINESS 21-25

GLAM 26-33

HEALTH 34-35

TRAVEL 36-37

TECH 38-39

FOOD 40-41

MOTORING 42-44

SPORTS 45-47

December 2018

Aksar KHAN

Aksar Khan has considerable experience in the retail sector, having come from a strong business background; he has taken on a range of different moneymaking ventures from working with abattoirs to selling imported yoyos. Khan grew up in Small Heath, Birmingham, an area known for housing much of the city’s ethnic minority. He therefore learned how to appreciate the challenges and frustration involved in trying to break away from a community where young talent struggles to thrive. Khan’s first official project involved opening a grocery store, which surprisingly survived the onslaught of many other competitive grocery stores in the area in which it operated – by recognising the importance of customer focus and practicality. The last self-employed job that Aksar had, which he commenced from June 2001 earned him a turnover of approximately £5,000 per week. In March 2006 he managed to sell the business after having tripled the sales to £15,000, to become a Subway Franchisee. Aksar Khan currently operates 8 Subway franchises; he is also the chairperson for the local marketing department for 400 further Subway branches as well. The first Subway store ever was opened more than five decades ago by nuclear physicist Peter Buck and student Fred DeLuca in a bid for one to help the other pay

printed banners and posters outdoor a stands

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his college tuition. This historic event happened in Connecticut, USA during 1965 and since then the business has continued to grow and develop overseas, with stores in more than 44,000 locations across the world. Subway is a company which highly emphasises the important aspects of running a successful business, impeccable customer service, and assembling and marketing a high-grade product. The multimillion dollar Subway Company has ambitious plans to expand its branches here in the UK and in Ireland as well, by continuing to build a strong supporting network. If you wish to become a franchisee of Subway, you can go onto www.subwayfranchising.com and follow the 5 simple steps online to become your own boss and be part of a worldwide success story. He believes that his Subway experience has empowered him

to build strong teams in the business world, and he has achieved results through carefully tailoring and offering to meet local tastes, and demands, as well as providing a service at a high and personal level. Aksar believes in his solid track record in retailing coupled together with 24 years of formal sales experience has built in dynamic and successful businesses, which serves the needs of the clientele in the areas where he operates. Outside of work, Aksar enjoys time with family and friends, and is passionate about food. He is a seasoned traveller that has explored Asia and the Middle-East. And it doesn’t stop there. Aksar also works very closely with South and City College Birmingham (SCCB), and schools in the local area of Birmingham mentoring students. He is also actively involved with SCCB young persons’ entrepreneurs club. Aksar has a talent to listen, consider and advise. So if you need help in setting up a new business plan and future prospects, opening bank accounts, and increasing your range of valuable contacts – Aksar has the willingness to share his skills and knowledge over a cup of coffee (and the occasional carrot cake). You can contact Aksar at aksar@capitalbusinesshub.co.uk or on the Capital Business phone number 0121 773 2020

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AW Facts Did you know?

Interview with Divyendu Sharma

Raj Kapoor’s ‘Mera Naam Joker’ was the first Hindi movie to have two intervals instead of just one!

Interview with

KRAJ SINGH Interview with

Peter Singh

M i ss i o n M a n g a l ie v o m e c a sp t s ir f ’s ia Ind


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December 2018

Interview with Divyendu Sharma starring in Mirzapur

By Manisha Bhanot

1. Can you tell us more about where the idea for the original Amazon series Mirzapur came from? Honestly I’m not sure where the idea came from because I entered the project as an actor at a much later stage where they approached me for the role. I just read the character description and found it really original. There are so many layers to each character and the script is very intelligently written and wholesome in my opinion. 2. Tell us more about your character in the series and how he fits into the plot. The name of the character I play is Muna, who’s a small-town boy and his father’s only son. His family practically run the town’s proceedings and are involved in different business of drugs and weapons distribution, under the cover of their carpet exportation empire. Muna has received all the luxuries of a privileged upbringing. However, what stands out about him are his complexities as a character, his insecurities and violent outbursts, coupled with his sensitive nature highlight him as someone who’s searching for himself in many ways. 3. Why did you choose to star in Mirzapur? What aspects of the storyline really appealed to you? I believe the most appealing part of Mirzapur is the way it’s been written. I think the storyline is just fantastic and beautifully done. All of the characters and the respective situations they find themselves in play out mind-blowingly. So that, along with the character of

Muna, personally drew me into the project, especially since I haven’t played a character as dark and intense as him before.

I support Mirzapur; it’s the story of India and I think it will be able to really touch the people because it’s so personal and real.

4. What has it been like on set? Do you get on well with the directing team and your fellow cast members e.g. Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Vikrant Massey, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Shweta Tripathi, Shriya Pilgaonkar? Yes, definitely. The rest of the cast are all lovely people and nice to work with so I really enjoyed myself on set. I believe that if you have good actors around you then that makes your job easier. The directors I think, also had the right kind of temperament to make a series such as Mirzapur, they gave every cast member a freedom to express themselves within the limitations of his or her character. They were always very open adding and subtracting segments of the script, so the whole filming process was very easy to shoot. 5. With heart-pounding action, gunfire and gangster fights, as well an emotive storyline about two brothers struggling to be on top politically, who is the series intended for? Do you think the younger generation in India will be able to watch it? I think in the past the Indian audience has been really broad-minded in terms of accepting content. I believe that they really get the bigger picture. For an Asian web-series or programme I think it’s really important for it to be grounded in its own culture. That’s why

As well as action there are a lot of gory scenes as well so we’ve made it very realistic for viewers. Both of these concepts add to the authenticity of how the story’s told. 7. What was one of the most difficult scenes to shoot in your opinion, either emotionally, physically or camerawise? I think for me the most difficult scenes to shoot are the emotional ones because they really can get to your head. I’m not allowed to share too much but in one of the episodes there’s a scene between my character Muna and his best friend which is so realistically done that it’s disturbing and took me a while to come out of. It’s definitely going to be one of the best scenes in the whole series that audiences can look forward to.

6. Have you been a part of any special effects shooting on set so far or had to use a stunt double for the more physically challenging scenes? Most of the scenes my fellow cast members and myself acted in ourselves.

For more information Email. Info@ivueproductions.co.uk Tel: 0121 400 0166

8. The series comes from the emmy nominated creators of Inside Edge, so what success are you expecting from Mirzapur? With the thought provoking concepts of power-play and lawlessness embedded into the story, how do you think audiences will receive it? I think I’m expecting a huge amount of success. I want people to go crazy over Mirzapur and the characters. I want them to talk about it with everyone they know. I think so far the reactions to the series trailers have been very good overall. People seem genuinely interested in wanting to know more about the story and the characters themselves. So I’m naturally expecting an even greater response when the episodes start being

released as well. 9. A lot of the plot synopsis is based around re-occurring motifs such as greed, violence, the caste system, etc. Do you think a lot of it reflects current happenings in India and the rocky political climate there? What can viewers learn from watching the show? I think Mirzapur definitely relates to our culture and political setting. I believe that with any country state you enter, there’s always people who believe in violence or corruption, which produce similar narratives. I think that more than anything Mirzapur represents human nature, the storyline will feature instances of sorrow, bloodshed, love and laughter. The plot synopsis is a type of hyper-realism which pushes character boundaries, so a lot of people will be able to connect with it. 10. When is the series available for download and streaming, how many episodes will there be and are there any further seasons planned for the future? The series has been released on the 16th of November on Amazon Prime. I’m not sure if there will be a second or third series because that will be down to the producers and the viewing platform Amazon itself as it’s their intellectual property and it all depends on how people will react to the show. However, I am looking forward to the response of this first season and I really do want people to watch it and I can’t wait for their reactions.


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HEALTH 34-35

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YRF’s “Thugs of Hindostan” set to collect over 50 crore on Day 1

Thugs of Hindostan has decimated all previous opening day box office records in the history of Bollywood as it becomes the first film ever to breach the 50 crore net mark on day one as well as on any single day. According to reports the film bagged around Rs.50.75 crore on its opening night. The mega action entertainer that boasts of jaw-dropping visual spectacle, has wowed audiences who have given it a unanimous thumbs up on an opening day. The film brings together two of the biggest icons of Hindi cinema Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan for the first time on big screen, making it a must watch movie for Hindi film lovers worldwide. It also stars Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh in key roles.

FOOD 40-41

MOTORING 42-44

SPORTS 45-47

Raxstar - Yamla Jat (feat Pav Dharia)

British rapper Raxstar releases the third single ‘Yamla Jat’ from his breakthrough album ‘Glass Ceiling’. Featuring Australian singer Pav Dhariaand produced by British producer Shayal, ‘Yamla Jat’ is inspired by the truthful and meaningful songs of legendary Punjabi folk singer Yamla Jatt. Raxstar pays homage to the legacy of an artist who is considered to have laid the foundations of contemporary Punjabi music with his songs telling the realities of life. The single ‘Yamla Jat’ features the inimitable Punjabi / English flow and lyrics of award-winning rapper Raxstar. Raxstar’s album ‘Glass Ceiling’ has been one of the standout British Asian releases of the year, with hit singles ‘Ki Kargeyi’ feat The PropheC and ‘Lost Our Way’ feat Arjun. The third single from the album ‘Yamla Jat’ features Punjabi singer Pav Dharia, best known for his solo anthem ‘Na Ja’.

December 2018

INDIA’S FIRST SPACE FILM: MISSION MANGAL

Akshay Kumar was last seen in the sports drama ‘Gold’ which hit the theatres on Independence Day this year. The megastar is again set to take the box office by the storm with his upcoming project ‘Mission Mangal’ releasing on 15th August 2019. ‘Mission Mangal’, co-produced by Pad Man director R. Balki and directed by Jagan Shakti, boasts of a stellar cast consisting of Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu and Sharman Joshi supported by new entrants Nithya Mennon and Kirti Kulhari. The movie is touted as India’s first space film and is ready to go on floors by the end of this month for an Independence Day release next year. The ‘Gold’ star was naturally elated to share the news with his fans on Twitter. He said, “A powerful true story of ordinary people with extraordinary dreams, on an unheard of mission to achieve the impossible #MissionMangal will come alive on 15th August, 2019. See you at the theatres. @foxstarhindi”

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December 2018

w e i v r e t n I

with Kraj Singh

1) What inspired you to get into the Desi-UK music industry and what is it about being an artist that you love the most? I have always been connected to music, be it through dance, singing or lyrical writing. I realised from a young age that my true passion was to create music, so I started composing lyrics for a few known singers and gave away some of my tracks. However, they unfortunately did not get produced. It was only in 2015, when I released my first single as a solo artist as and composer. I was lucky enough to receive a very positive response, which made me realise that I am on the right path and I should continue with my musical journey. What I love the most about being an artist is that I am able to live my dream and receive so much love and appreciation from people worldwide.

focusing on releasing solo tracks so I am able to showcase myself further.

2) You’ve recently released a new song called ‘Lambo Ride’, why did you decide to compose and release the song and what has the reaction to it been so far? I really wanted to release something which had an urban yet commercial sort of a feel as this is the type of music I personally love. Once the audio for ‘Lamboride’ was complete, I could see and feel the capability it had to be one of my hit tracks. I have been really fortunate to receive so much love from everywhere. My team and Sony music India have cut no corners in promoting ‘Lamboride’ worldwide.

6) Which artists and styles of music would you say have inspired your sound? I have always been a huge fan of slow, romantic songs, R&B, Urban and Hip hop. I also like Bollywood tracks. It is difficult to name one artist as there are quite a few who have inspired me to create projects with a similar feel, but at the same time introducing fresh melodies and lyrics.

3) The music video for ‘Lambo Ride’ follows your character through the scenic streets of London, and adds a very fun and laid back vibe to the whole song. What was the filming experience like for you when you were making the video, did you enjoy working with the other models/dancers featured alongside you? My direction team had an amazing idea for the video where they wanted me to portray the character of an admirer, as the lyrics of the song demanded this. We shot the video in places like Brick Lane and Southwark Bridge, London, which created a very scenic and fun feel, giving the right sort of appeal to the video. The female lead and dancers were great to work with. There was a very relaxed atmosphere on set so it gave the video a very casual vibe, which was required to compliment the song. 4) Who has been your favourite artist whom you have collaborated with so far? I have collaborated with an artist from London with whom I released my second track. It was a great experience and I would love to expand and collaborate with a few amazingly talented artists in the future. However, I am currently

By Manisha Bhanot

5) You’ve been performing at the various festivals this season, including having a gig at Reading Mela last month. What has been your favourite live on-stage performance so far and why? I have been out performing for a few shows this year. But, my prime focus is to deliver content through my work rather than doing shows and putting a pause on my singing career. However, it’s always great to perform for your fans and receive their love as they have always been very supportive from the beginning. Fans are like your family in music. They are the people that drive your momentum and build your success. Without their support you can’t be what you wish to be.

7) How do you differ from other established international artists currently taking over the Asian music scene like Zack Knight, Imran Khan, Guru Randhawa, etc? I believe music is such a huge stage where you cannot pick and choose or compare artists in terms of one or two styles of tracks they have created. I guess everyone is doing great in their own path and in their own style. It’s like Imran Khan is totally different from Guru Randhawa, but at the same time they are both similar when it comes to doing commercial music. Personally, I like to bring variety and be versatile as an artist. Hence, all of my projects have involved different styles of feel and music. 8) Where would you say your biggest fan base is right now, or the city where you’ve received the most support musically? If I have to choose, then I would say India would be a great place to perform and receive maximum love from my fans as I believe they would definitely listen to the type of music I create. Not saying that we don’t have people who enjoy Punjabi/Hindi music around the globe but India has a larger audience which makes it easier when it comes to releasing your music and getting the right amount of support. 9) How are you looking to widen your music audience and interact with your fan-base more in the near

future? I think that my record label Sony Music India can provide me with a huge opportunity to reach out to a wider audience due to their large platform. I am looking to showcase myself further through doing call-in interviews, being asked onto radio stations, TV channel appearances and featured in editorials. Therefore, I can get exposure whilst releasing my tracks simultaneously, and that would contribute greatly to me being able to reach out to a larger

audience. In terms of staying connected to my fans, I am active on all social media platforms where they can interact with me and gain updates for my upcoming projects. 10) What’s next for Kraj? Do you have any new music planned for your fans and what are your plans for the upcoming year? I have another track planned to release in January. I’m looking to release as

much music as I can but aim to deliver high quality content each time, as I believe in quality rather than quantity. At the same time, I want to ensure my fans are happy. After releasing a few singles in 2019, I am planning to release my first solo album by the end of the year. So, I will be looking into developing as an artist, which eventually will lead me to being in a very strong position and surrounded by the right people whom have always showed their support.


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Food SPORTS Motoring FOOD FOOD Motoring MOTORING SPORTS 48-50 51-54 55-60 46-47 46-49 42-44 44-46 48-49 50-51 45-48 47-50 48-51 50-56 52-56 49-54 51-55 44-47 40-41 42-44 45-47

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AW

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Communities United @ Uk Bhangra Awards 2018

0121 767 5344 Hello Peridot Gems!

How are we? We have had some great weather this year! I sincerely wish that you all are in good health and still fully charged heading towards Autumn.

After the smash hit UK Bhangra Awards 2014-2017, Culture Unite & Lyca Radio presented UK Bhangra Awards 2018 on Saturday 10th November in the luxurious Regency Banqueting Suite, Birmingham. This prestigious red carpet event celebrating its 5th anniversary included 24 awards, live performances, dinner and dance. The event was superbly hosted by Boy Chana, Pam Sidhu, Apna Bhajan Jagpal and Chandni Kahn. There were breathtaking live performances by the Balwinder Bhatti Band, 2 Tricky Project Band, Haripa Dancers, Dhol Frequency, Inderjit London, Biba Singh, Jin & Seetal, Shubhra Bhambra, Jassi

Premi, Dara Kandola, Nesdi Jones, Khushi Kaur, Shin Cobra, Asha Jassal, Royal Keys Pianist, Emily Marina Violinist, Ravneet Kaur, Sohan & Aruna Kailey A full venue attendance was made up of Bhangra industry fraternity, VIP’s and general public. Bhangra fans from all communities were united and delighted at the grand ceremony. This tremendous showcase unveiled the best artistic talent within the nation and beyond. All recipients of the stunning crystal trophy were truly honored, knowing they had received probably the highest accolade in the Bhangra industry and joined an elite list of winners. CEO of Culture Unite Mr. Bobby Bola

was quoted as saying “The team at UK Bhangra Awards thank everyone that has made the event a huge success in promoting Bhangra, Culture & Unity”. EVENT COVERAGE Coverage of the smash hit event will soon be broadcast to a worldwide audience on PTC Punjabi, Kanshi TV, KTV, Geo News, CNI News, A1 TV, Beatbox TV. PHOTO ALBUMS Magical moments on a truly memorable evening have been masterfully captured by official event photographer Foto Render & Media Take One.

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NOW HOW FANTASTIC IS THAT! Ladies and Gentleman...Are you looking to attend a special occasion or is it your special day? Look no further to enhance your beauty, Peridot Beauty is your port of call, we will be delighted to have you on board! At Peridot Beauty which we are based within the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport Coventry Road, thorough consultations are provided by myself and our therapists Kaya and Emma. We do now take deposit to secure your slot due to the high demand of our services being based within a busy Hotel, which is returned on the day of your consultation. Notice of 24 hour cancellation is required.

UK BHANGRA AWARDS 2018 WINNERS LIST (1) BEST PUBLICATION - The Asian Today (2) BEST WEBSITE - DesiBlitz.com (3) BEST RADIO PRESENTER - Shandy Kambo (4) BEST TV PRESENTER - Mohanjit Basra (5) BEST DJ ROADSHOW - Higher Class DJ’s (6) BEST DHOL ARTIST - Ministry of Dhol (7) BEST DANCE GROUP - Haripa Dancers (8) BEST MELA - Glasgow Mela (9) BEST SONGWRITER - Gurpreet Virk (GV) (10) BEST MUSIC PRODUCER - Vee Music (11) BEST MUSICIAN - Gubzy Lackhanpal

(12) BEST BAND - Brotherhood Group (13) BEST RECORD LABEL - Hi-Tech Music (14) BEST VIDEO PRODUCER - Sunny Dhinsey Filmlore (15) BEST MUSIC VIDEO - Subaig S. Kandola ft Desi Routz - She Dances (16) BEST SINGLE - Jaz Dhami ft V Rakx Aitvaar (17) BEST ALBUM - Jaz Dhami - Pieces of Me (18) BEST NEWCOMER - Dev Nahar & Khushi Kaur

(19) BEST FEMALE SINGER - Seetal Kaur (20) BEST MALE SINGER - Subaig S. Kandola (21) BEST URBAN ARTIST - Tazzz (22) BEST INTERNATIONAL ARTIST - Biba Singh (USA) (23) SPECIAL CONTRIBUTION AWARD - Harminder Berman & Jassi Premi (24) LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Jandu Littranwala

Tariq Khan Takes lead at Oracle Awards The Oracle Excellence Awards take place each year to honour the success and achievements of current artists and inspire success to others. This year it was singer Tariq Khan who was the one to take away one of the most anticipated prizes, as he was awarded with the title of ‘Best Song.’ Khan was also nominated as best artist, and put together an eccentric performance on the stage of the awards ceremony. The Oracle Awards and winter ball ceremony also featured guest appearances from hit singer Maz Bonafide and BBC Asian Network presenter Noreen Khan. It was the Oracle Company’s 5th consecutive year hosting the event, which prides itself on celebrating the UK’s most charitable and inspiring people in the country’s business sector. Tariq Khan later posted on Instagram: “Massive thanks to bro Aidan Mufti & the entire Oracle awards team for putting together such a prestige event thanks to all my fans &

supporters who supported for me to win best song of the year luv you all and bigup to all of the winners and many congrats.”

AsianWorldNews congratulates Tariq Khan on his recent success and wishes him all the best with his musical career for the future.


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December 2018

with Peter singh

w e i v r e t n I By Manisha

Bhanot

Peter Singh’s latest film, Mari, premiered at the BFI London Film Festival on the 19th October. Also look out for him as Mr Tungay in the new adaption of The Personal History of David Copperfield, directed by Armando Iannucci. The feature film you worked on earlier this year, Mari – is hugely emotive. It follows the journey of a young dancer who becomes newly pregnant and simultaneously learns her grandmother is dying. Some of the story is told through poetic dance which really visualises the overall feeling of the plot. What was it like to work on such an emotional drama and how did it make you feel? The film certainly packs an emotional punch. But despite the heavy subject matter it was actually a very relaxed, happy set, which probably helped the actors go to those places. I mean, in a way the characters are all forced to come to terms with mortality so the film does explore themes related to grief and regret. But ultimately, i’ve always seen the story as a celebration of Mari’s life. And a celebration of following an artistic calling, and that despite how painful that calling might be, it is the braver and more truthful way to live. So yes, even though the film delves into some painful places it’s certainly not all downbeat. And of course, there is the dancing! The dance element of the film is pretty awesome. Fortunately, audiences will not be subjected to the sight of me busting moves. What made you want to work on the film and what do you think you learned by working on such an artistic project? Firstly, the script. It was a totally original piece of writing that addressed some very universal themes from a unique perspective. Also, I’d spent the year before doing mainly comedy so it was nice to get stuck into something more poignant. Not to sound too actory arty-farty, but there is something cathartic about exploring these deep rooted emotions through a character. It gives

you a different and perhaps clearer understanding of your own feelings about such issues. The healing power of art and all that. Which is one of the themes of the film, I guess. How Charlotte uses dance and Mari uses painting. So working on the film did make me reflect on all that. Can you describe the personality of the character you play in the film and what his role is in progression of the plot, and how he changes throughout the film or stays the same? I play Rohan, who is the brother-inlaw to the lead character Charlotte. In a nutshell, he’s a decent family man who’s trying to help his wife and in-laws through this difficult time. But by trying to do the right thing he gets caught up in the long buried resentments within the family. He’s sort of the peacemaker, always trying to put out fires. I

guess, the main change he goes through is how his empathy for the women in his life grows throughout the film. The story is essentially about these three generations of women and it’s interesting to see how our feelings towards them change and you certainly see that through Rohan. Who has been your inspiration in acting growing up and which actors would you love to work with someday? Too many to mention. Interestingly though, this question pops up a lot and recently it made me remember how much Bollywood meant to me growing up. I just got back into watching Bollywood films and its amazing how much the genre has changed over the last couple of decades. But when I was a kid, I mean in those earliest years, it was as much about Bollywood cinema as anything else for me. Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor, those guys, they were living legends for me growing up. You’re probably too young to remember, but when your dad brought home a VHS tape of the latest Amitabh Bachchan movie, that was an event for all the family. And I mean ALL the family. It was in our house. So yes, in terms of inspiration and actors i’d love to work with, I can’t think of anybody who means more than Mr. Bachchan. What are you working on now that you want your fans to know about? So, I just finished filming The Personal History Of David Copperfield with the great Armando Iannucci and Dev Patel. I’m currently working on an animation called The Night Zookeeper, based on Joshua Davidson’s popular series of children’s books. They are totally crazy but very funny scripts and the series will be coming out on Sky Kids early next year. I play a top university professor who is also a penguin... It’ll make total sense when you see it. Photographer: Bartek Szmigulski

Interview with

A-Team

1. What is the A-Team all about? We’re basically assigning all of the ladies in the local area who are interested in us to come and join our group and showcase their talent. Whether they can sing or dance, what we’re doing is working together as a team, supporting each and every one of us. Even myself, I’ve never really gone out to sing but because it’s ladies only, in the last two weeks I’ve really been going out there and performing my vocals. We’re trying to get everybody who joins us to develop their talent and really stand out. 2. Who’s in the A-Team? Together we’re made up out of five people. Myself (Hasina), Shaz, Arshad, Haz, Imran, and our security guy at the door! Shaz is on the media side, she and myself are the ones who bring people in, get the word out and advertise. We also incorporate local DJs who are willing to showcase a set on our specific themed nights, and input a contribution for our community gatherings. 3. Where do the group organize themselves and rehearse? We get together and practice at each other’s homes as we consider one another as family. We currently have a themed community night every Friday, and members of the public can contact our Facebook or Instagram page for venue details. For Facebook the account name is under “The A-Team”, and for Instagram the handle is @ateam675 4. What made all of you want to get together, what was the whole reasoning behind forming the A-team? It’s for those like myself; single-parents sitting at home doing nothing. And it’s the thought of being able to go somewhere where you can let your hair down without anyone judging you or having a view of what you’re doing as right or

By Manisha Bhanot

wrong. There’s around six academies around Birmingham which are all mixed, so we wanted to open a place that could accommodate ladies only. It was the community that actually gave us the idea, so women would be allowed there and we were like ‘okay, let’s give it a try.’ 5. You talked about your group being anti-prejudice, are there any other values you collectively hold as important to your organisation? The main value for us is working as a team, supporting each-other and not judging each-other. We want to focus on the charity side of things as well. We want our group to raise money to help provide world-wide clean water. We want to get bigger and better, but to get into any sort of position where we’re organising these kinds of events, we need to get the community to recognise and support us. As people are coming to our Friday sessions and they’re liking what we do, the word’s getting out, and we can eventually accomplish our goals. 6. What’s your favourite activity to do as a group together? There’s loads! As a group we love enjoying dancing and music, whether it’s Reggae, English, Bollywood, it’s a mix. We’ve also got live musicians in the ATeam who play the dholki, harmonium, guitar, whom we bring in to showcase their talent every week. 7. What’s next for the A-Team, do you have any plans for the upcoming months? We would like to do more events in the upcoming year. We want to slowly get the locals together, build up the crowd, and then put together a massive event which really shows how much we love and support all our members, and gives back to the community as well.


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Seven in eight children’s tonsillectomies are unnecessary, study reveals

Seven in every eight children who have their tonsils removed are unlikely to benefit from the operation, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Birmingham analysed the electronic medical records of over 1.6 million children from more than 700 UK general practices dating between 2005 and 2016. They found that out of 18,271 children who had their tonsils removed during this time, only 2,144 (11.7 per cent) had enough sore throats to justify surgery. The researchers at the University’s Institute of Applied Health Research concluded that their evidence, published today (Nov 6) in British Journal of General Practice, showed that annually 32,500 children undergo needless tonsillectomies at a cost to the NHS of £36.9 million. What’s more, they found that many children who might benefit from having their tonsils removed are not having the surgical procedure. They found that of

15,764 children who had records showing sufficient sore throats to undergo a tonsillectomy, just 2,144 (13.6 per cent) actually went on to have one. Current UK health policy, based on the best scientific evidence, is that to meet the criteria to benefit from a tonsillectomy children must suffer from either more than seven documented sore throats in a year; more than five sore throats per year for two successive years; or three sore throats per year for three successive years. The researchers found that, of those who had undergone a tonsillectomy, 12.4 per cent had reported five to six sore throats in a year; 44.7 per cent had suffered two to four sore throats in a year; and 9.9 per cent had just one sort throat in a year. Tom Marshall, Professor or Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Birmingham, said: “Research shows that children with frequent sore throats usually suffer fewer sore throats over the next year or two. In those

children with enough documented sore throats, the improvement is slightly quicker after tonsillectomy, which means surgery is justified. “But research suggests children with fewer sore throats don’t benefit enough to justify surgery, because the sore throats tend to go away anyway. “Our research showed that most children who had their tonsils removed weren’t severely enough affected to justify treatment, while on the other hand, most children who were severely enough affected with frequent sore throats did not have their tonsils removed. The pattern changed little over the 12 year period. “Children may be more harmed than helped by a tonsillectomy. We found that even among severely affected children only a tiny minority of ever have their tonsils out. It makes you wonder if tonsillectomy ever really essential in any child.”

Huge fall in FGM among girls across Africa

The research, carried out by Professor Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala of Northumbria University, Newcastle, has been published in the online journal BMJ Global Health. While the results are generally positive, they also indicate that the rates of decline vary widely by country, and that the practice is still pervasive in Western Asia–Iraq and Yemen. What’s more, the conditions in many of the countries where a decline has occurred are ripe for a reversal of the downwards trend, warns Professor Kandala. His findings are based on an analysis of survey data (Demographic Health Survey and Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey) from 1990 up to 2017 for 29 countries across Africa, plus two countries in Western Asia (Iraq and Yemen). In all, they included 90 sets of survey

data, covering 208,195 girls up to the age of 14. This showed that the prevalence of FGMC varied widely among and within countries and regions during the survey periods. The decline was steepest in East Africa, followed by North and

West Africa. FGMC prevalence fell from 71.4% in 1995 to 8% in 2016 in East Africa; from just under 58% in 1990 to just over 14% in 2015 in North Africa; and from 73.6% in 1996 to 25.4% in 2017 in West Africa.

Research brings personalised medicine to treat leukaemia one step closer Scientists at the University of Birmingham have revealed the roles that different types of gene mutations play in causing blood cancers in a study that was the culmination of a decade’s research. The findings of the team, led by Professor Constanze Bonifer and Professor Peter Cockerill of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Cancer and Genomic Studies, mean doctors are now one step closer to being able to provide tailored and targeted treatment specific to individual patients – increasing their chances of survival. The team, funded by blood cancer research charity Bloodwise, has spent the last 10 years carrying out a painstaking global analysis of the cells of patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), the results of which are published today (November 12th) in Nature Genetics (i). AML is an aggressive cancer of the white blood cells, called myeloid cells, which normally function to fight bacterial infections and eliminate parasites from the body. By picking apart the mutated cells in AML patients and gathering big data on each of them, the researchers were able to study the basic building blocks that control the production of these abnormal cells. This step-by-step process, carried out in collaboration with Professor Mike Griffiths and his team at the West Midlands Regional Genetics Laboratory at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, identified the main trigger points where critical mutations feed through to other genes that control the cells’ identity and behaviour. Lead author Professor Constanze Bonifer said: “In acute myeloid leukaemia, genes are targeted by mutations that encode either master regulators controlling cell identity or factors transmitting signals through the cell, therefore the normal process of turning genes on or off is defunct. “Our research found that, when this happens, the cells step sideways from their normal developmental programme and speed out of control. “Crucially, AML cells from patients with the same types of mutations always take the same route when they head off in the wrong direction. “Our analyses of each of the pathways that the cells took when developing into cancer identified key points in the cell that could be used in the future to target and develop new drugs to treat each type of AML in a different way.” Co-lead author Professor Peter Cockerill said: “Doctors in Birmingham are already testing AML patients for the many different mutations that cause AML. However, now they know which genes are the most important for each type of AML.

“This means that personalised medicine will one day become a reality for blood cell cancers, which will see a different drug being given to treat each form of AML, creating personalised treatment for each cancer patient depending on the mutation that has caused their disease.” Dr Alasdair Rankin, Director of Research at Bloodwise, said: “Although a handful of targeted drugs have recently become available for people with acute myeloid leukaemia, they only help a small number of people. “We need to be smarter about matching the right treatment to the right person if we want to boost survival rates for AML, especially if there are already drugs out there that can help. “These landmark research findings will act as a blueprint for how to tackle this, and could even help with the delivery of personalised medicine in mainstream healthcare in the future.” This study comes after research, by the same team at the University of Birmingham in collaboration with Professor Olaf Heidenreich’s team at Newcastle University, was published last month (October) in Cancer Cell (ii), which focussed on just one type of DNA mutation in AML to study a single pathway to cancer development. The researchers found that a growthpromoting gene, called CCND2, was crucial for the survival of this type of cancer cell and, significantly, it was found that an already approved breast cancer drug called palbociclib designed to inhibit CCDN2 was able to block tumour development - therefore identifying it as a drug that could be used to target and treat AML. Also in the same issue of Cancer Cell (iii) published in October the University of Birmingham team – this time in collaboration with scientists led by Professor Jan Jacob Schuringa at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands - published further research aimed at advancing tailored and targeted treatment for AML patients. Of this research, Professor Bonifer explains: “Acute myeloid leukaemia is made up of several groups of cells with different combinations of mutations, some of which are so aggressive they allow these cancer cells to survive after treatment. “Often these combinations of mutations are present before treatment, but we have never previously been able to identify them when a patient is first diagnosed with AML - meaning that the cancer can later return as a different disease which is often more aggressive. “Our research in collaboration with the University of Groningen identified how to makes it possible to identify these cells when patients are first diagnosed with AML so that they can be treated with the right combination of drugs.”


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5 fun ways to stay active with your pup during the colder months The season for chunky knits and cosy scarves has arrived! With the grey skies, colder temperatures and shorter days, it is tempting enough to slip into hibernation mode. But if you share your home with your canine companion, it’s important to stay active and healthy throughout the year. Lintbells, manufacturers of pet joint supplement YuMOVE, have always emphasised the importance of maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle. The brand urges dog owners everywhere not to let the colder weather freeze up your exercise routine and has put together a few fun outdoor activities for you and your pet to enjoy: Take a hike With the crisp weather and beautifully coloured leaves, autumn is a perfect time of year to enjoy the great outdoors with your pup. Taking your dog on a hike can be a great way to enjoy the foliage and have a really fun day out with your furry friend. Be sure to check with a vet on your dogs’ fitness and mobility levels before choosing your hiking route, wrap up warm and always take plenty of water with you. You can find the best dog walks and parks local to you by visiting the official government and National Trust websites. Play in the leaves! At this time of year, we’re all raking up those yellow, brown and orange leaves into a big pile, to usually put into our compost bins. Why not leave them out for a little while longer and let your dog play with the foliage? They’ll love the opportunity to create such a colourful and lovely mess in the garden. It’s such a great sight and you will definitely create some truly instagrammable moments! Be beside the seaside At this time of year, most of the popular beaches around the country once again open up their sandy shores. Whilst it may be a little chilly in autumn, a walk along the beach during this time is sure to get your blood pumping and is a fantastic source of

exercise for both you and your pooch. If you don’t live near the coast, taking your dog to new areas and terrains can be a great way to acclimatise them to change and visiting new places. Who doesn’t love a little splash in the sea once in a while? Be sure to check prior to visiting any beach that dogs are permitted and remember to pack some fresh water with you – even though it’s not too hot for your dog they may get thirsty and we don’t want them drinking any sea-water! Going to the beach is also a great opportunity for the whole family to enjoy themselves. Why not go crabbing? Or visit a pier or seaside fair which can be a lovely family activity. Dog friendly pubs After a long and cold walk, nothing can beat cosying up in a pet friendly pub, around a warm fireplace with a drink for you and your furry friend (dog friendly for your pup of course!). There are plenty of dog friendly pubs around the country for you to enjoy together with some great food, a pint and your dog at your feet. Some pubs might even have a dog menu and doggie beer for your pooch to indulge in! There are a number of useful websites that you can use to find the best dog friendly pubs near you. Support your pet with a natural joint supplement

The colder months can bring about stiff and achy joints for both humans and our four-legged friends, so it’s important to keep both yourself and your dog active at this time. To make sure that your pet pooch is armed with the right ingredients that keep him/her happy and healthy why not support their diet with a natural supplement? Lintbells’ YuMOVE PLUS is designed to give extra joint support to dogs, especially those who are experiencing extra stiffness during the winter. It’s packed with unique ActivEase® Green Lipped Mussel and full of anti-oxidants to aid joint development, support active joints and structure, and promote mobility. The premium YuMOVE PLUS formula is clinically proven to work within six weeks* and can make a tailwagging difference to your pet pooch. YuMOVE is now the official sponsor for ITV’s viewer favourite, “For the Love of Dogs”, on every Wednesday from 8pm on ITV. For more information about Lintbells please visit www.lintbells.com or to speak to a member of the Lintbells team please call 01462 416866. 1To find parks local to you visit: https://www.gov.uk/find-your-localpark or https://www.nationaltrust.org. uk/search

Akshay Kumar’s 5 Exercise regimes that will give you serious fitness goals The Bollywood megastar, Akshay Kumar, has set some major fitness goals over the years. He has often advocated a fit lifestyle and urged his fans to take up a sport as a hobby. He frequently takes up variety of workouts ranging from kick-boxing to swimming to cycling and his Instagram account is a testimony to that. 1. The “No-handed” cycling paired with fierce boxing moves While shooting for Housefull 4 in Jaisalmer, Akshay Kumar took some time off to work his core while he cycled around the town. He blessed his fans Instagram feed with a fun video but was sure to add a caution warning. 2. The creative use of wooden beads Who would’ve thought that wooden beads can come handy for your waist and neck workout? Apart from being a great prop for strength training, the wooden beads also seem like a fun prop to exercise. 3. The beach volleyball player The megastar is a huge fan of sports and

often indulges in some activity as and when he has time. This time around, he surprised some of his fans as he played volleyball with them on Juhu beach. 4. The impromptu handstand during promotions As one of the fittest actors of Bollywood, the ‘Gold’ star often gets requests to exhibit his moves, and he obliges to it. During PadMan promotions, he gave his fans a teaser of his suave workout regime as he not only did a handstand but walked on his hands. 5. The classic kick-boxing If there’s one thing that can never go out of style and yet be equally effective, its kick-boxing. The Bollywood superstar who is a huge fan of martial arts, often posts his kickboxing videos, definitely inspiring all of us to take it up. On the professional front, Akshay Kumar will be next seen in the fourth instalment of comedy franchise Housefull. He also has 2.0 with Rajnikanth, Kesari and Good News, lined up.

Equal Lives: At home and at Work

The Equal Lives report published today, in partnership with Santander, has found that men want more support from their employer to balance work and care. Chloe Chambraud, Gender Equality Director, Business in the Community, discusses. One year ago, we commissioned a team of leading academics to find out what men actually think, do and want in relation to work and care across the UK and over 10,000 men and women told us what they needed from their employers to lead happier, healthier and more balanced lives. But why are we focusing on men? Over the last 30 years, Business in the Community’s Gender Equality Campaign has published a series of landmark reports showing why and how employers can support women in work. But gender equality is also a men’s issue. Until caring and parenting responsibilities are

better shared between women and men, we won’t close the pay gap and the inequalities that persist across industries. Until now, most research in this area has focused on women. We made assumptions about what men wanted or needed

but didn’t have the facts or knowledge to support this. Equal Lives set out to fill this gap. Through this piece of work, men told us they wanted to be more present for their children and elderly parents, but

public policy, organisational practices and uninformed managers often prevent them from doing so. As a result, carers and parents are more stressed and disengaged than other employees and many intend to leave the organisation. This lack of flexibility prevents employees from reaching their full potential in different areas of their life and impacts on their productivity. In 2018, any employee should be able to have job and family responsibilities, without either being compromised. Businesses who can create more familyfriendly workplaces supported by a flexible working culture will attract, engage and retain their male and female talent. This report offers insight and practical recommendations to support all employees. Not just the heterosexual-nuclearfamily-with-male-breadwinner model but same-sex parents, extended families, and childless families. I hope it supports

you in your journey to achieve gender equality for all. I would like to say a huge thank you to the 10,000+ people who took time out of their busy lives to complete the survey. The time you spent in helping us to understand what happens in your lives just shows how much this matters to you. We will make sure your voices are heard.

AW Facts Did you know? Drinking at least five glasses of water a day can reduce your chances of suffering from a heart attack by 40%


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Haven a great time on NCL Epic

Make no mistake, Norwegian Epic is a big ship. Just under 156,000 gross tonnage, she was refurbished in 2015 and has a guest capacity of 4100 double occupancy and a crew of 1724. This 19 deck mega ship has a multitude of facilities, great entertainment with Broadway shows and 20 different dining options. There’s a multi-slide Aqua Park and state of the art fitness centre. Dining options include two main dining rooms, self service buffet and a variety of cafés, grills and on-the-go choices with changing menus and a great choice of wines and beers. Speciality restaurants are very popular, Cagney’s Steakhouse, Italian La Cucina and Le Bistro full every night - you need to book in advance. There’s also many bars and lounges to discover throughout the ship. With such a huge ship and a lot of guests wouldn’t it be nice to find a select area where you can relax, unwind and experience exclusive facilities but still have access to all that a cruise on NCL Epic has to offer? There is! ... it’s called The Haven. My wife and I booked a classic Mediterranean cruise on Epic in the summer starting and ending in Barcelona and taking in some popular ports of call - Rome (Civitavecchia), Livorno (for Pisa and Florence), Naples, Cannes and Palma Majorca. The Haven experience started

some months before - included in our cruise were 3 specialist dining packages for 2, the ultimate beverage inclusive drinks package, complimentary bottled water each day, 2 x 50 US Dollars on board credit, 250 minute internet access and all service charges (tips) pre-paid. Arriving at Barcelona port on embarkation day was busy but straight away The Haven experience cut in. Our cases were taken to a separate area and after security we were shown to a dedicated lounge with refreshments and a leisurely and quick check-in procedure. Take a look at the main picture of Epic. You can see The Haven over two decks situated at the top and front of the ship accessible only to Haven guests. There’s a separate lift, reception area and a concierge on hand to assist throughout the cruise. A number of Haven suites are also situated at the stern of the ship including ours. These aft facing Penthouse Suites with butler service command a super view from the spacious balcony, the only downside being the walk from our suite to the Haven itself - you certainly come to realise how long the ship is! The Haven really is hidden away at the top of the ship and here you’ll find luxurious, well appointed spacious suites. The sundecks, reserved exclusively for Haven guests offered com-

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AW Facts Did you know? “Hodophobia” is the fear of traveling or road traveling. The word “hodo” is Greek for “travel” or “road,” and “phobia” is Greek for “fear.”

plete privacy with a bar, pool, hot tubs and plenty of comfortable sun loungers. Your Private Sanctuary This private sanctuary is a ship within a ship. We relaxed in the lounge and enjoyed exclusive dining in our own special restaurant. Exclusiveness doesn’t end there ... priority tender access, evening turn-down service, and the butler personally escorted us off the ship at the end of our cruise and at each port of call on request. Our concierge happily arranged tours at each port of call and VIP seats for the shows. At each port of call we took the opportunity to explore ourselves - shopping in Naples, celebrity spotting in Cannes (it was film festival week) and a super tour of Rome organised by NCL with coach travel provided from the ship and a very knowledgeable guide. The tour covered all the main tourist sites with lunch included at a lovely classic Italian restaurant just off Piazza Navona, one of the locations used in the Tom Hanks film Angels and Demons CONCLUSION NCL has some amazing ships and with so much to do onboard The Haven is the ‘icing on the cake’. All the ship has to offer and more in your own exclusive space. Give it a try ... it’s a unique experience you’ll never forget. More information can be found at www.ncl.com


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Showcasing the world’s best talent in travel Winners announced at the IBM iX everywoman in Travel Awards

In November, the travel industry celebrated outstanding talent from the UK and beyond with the announcement of the 2018 IBM iX everywoman in Travel Awards winners. The awards celebrated individuals from all walks of life who are championing gender diversity and whose talents are driving real commercial results for their businesses. The event was attended by the industry’s most discerning senior business leaders and supporters of the everywoman awards programmes, including Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work. Although women make up 70% of the travel workforce, they only account for 15.8% of all board positions*. This is why IBM iX became involved as Title Partner for the 2018 everywoman in Travel Awards – to help drive change. Since becoming everywoman’s first brand partner 20 years ago, they have been leading the diversity agenda globally, across various industry sectors. Their joint efforts will now be extended into the travel sector, with a focus on techno-

logical innovation. Now in its second year, the awards programme celebrated a wider range of talent with the introduction of four new categories for 2018. These included a Male Agent of Change Award, which recognises the men who are committed to creating a gender-balanced workforce and an International Inspiration Award for a role model based outside the UK, making a difference in her community. Special recognition was given to the overall Woman of the Year - Captain Kate McWilliams, Airline Captain for easyJet – who at the age of 26 became the world’s youngest female Captain. Kate first discovered her love for flying when she was just 13 years old, after joining the Air Cadets - the youth wing of the Royal Air Force. On her 19th birthday, she started her commercial flying training and by the age of 21, was flying passengers all over Europe with easyJet. The discouragement she faced from others along her career journey only fuelled her even more to succeed. In a

world where only 5% of airline pilots are female, Kate’s achievements are exceptional and she is now reaching out to thousands of young girls (and boys), encouraging them to also consider a career in aviation. The 2018 IBM iX everywoman in Travel Awards category winners are as follows: One to Watch, spotnsored by TripAdvisor – Awarded to a young game-changer under the age of 21 in education or apprenticeship who demonstrates a passion for the travel industry. • Hannah Fairley, Apprentice Travel Sales Consultant, Thomas Cook UK, from Edinburgh Tomorrow’s Leader, sponsored by TTG Media – Awarded to a woman under 30 making a significant contribution to the sector. • Alice Hye, Services Contracts Manager, AC Group, from West Wickham, Entrepreneur, sponsored by Celebrity Cruises – Awarded to an owner/ operator of a travel business that

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has been operating for three years or more whose vision will inspire other women to start their own enterprise. • Caroline Strachan, Managing Partner, FESTIVE ROAD, from Tunbridge Wells, Above & Beyond, sponsored by Avis Budget Group – Awarded to a woman at any stage of her career that has truly gone above and beyond her role to help drive the organisation’s success. • Swati Agarwal, FP&A Manager, Celebrity Cruises, from Weybridge Team Leader, sponsored by easyJet – Awarded to a woman whose team leadership has greatly contributed to the organisation’s success. • Roisin O’Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer, Walks, from Dublin, *New for 2018* Leader of Change, sponsored by Hilton – Awarded to a woman who is making a significant contribution towards the strategic direction of the business through best practices, employee engagement, improved productivity and innovation. • Clare Tobin, CEO, Olympic Holidays, from London.

*New for 2018* International Inspiration, sponsored by Gold Medal & Travel 2 – Awarded to a woman working outside the UK & Ireland who is a role model for women in her community. • Meenu Vadera, Founder, Azad Foundation and Sakha Consulting Wings, from New Delhi. *New for 2018* Male Agent of Change, sponsored by Heathrow – Awarded to a man for his active commitment to advancing the progress of women working in travel. • Stuart Leven, Vice President EMEA, & Managing Director, RCL Cruises, from Weybridge, *New for 2018 * Executive Leader – sponsored by Radisson Hotel Group - Awarded to a woman making a significant direct financial contribution to the commercial success of the business. • Julia Kemp, Director of International Sales & Partnerships, Avis Budget Group


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Instagram to Crackdown on Fake Followers

By Khalid Karim - Technology Correspondent The days of faking your way to Insta-fame could be numbered, with Instagram launching a new push to eliminate inauthentic followers and likes gained via the use of third-party tools which promise to boost your onplatform presence. Looks like those fame hungry Instagrammers will be facing the wrath of Instagram itself. Okay, that sounds a bit hard but Instagram will be launching a new initiative to get rid of what it deems to be fake followers and likes obtained via third-party apps or tools which promise to boost your ego, I mean your online presence. Instagram has been quoted as saying: “Every day, people come to Instagram to have real experiences, including genuine interactions. It’s our responsibility to ensure these experiences aren’t disrupted by inauthentic activity. Starting today, we will begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity.” That could be a major blow to a lot of Insta Influencers and Users. There are reports suggesting that fake followers and similar services are on the rise and widely used across social platforms. Many users are seeing following counts as some sort of status symbol and measure of success and popularity. With such brand influence and PR, people obviously want their

clients to have a huge following compared to the competition. Then that points the finger at fakes - you add attraction marketing and influence to that where people can earn money based on the size of their perceived audience, it’s no wonder that these kinds of services have increased in popularity. It’s so easy to find and buy Instagram Followers. A word of advice, like any platform you should only ‘buy’ likes etc from the platform itself where they promote your account like Twitter and Facebook allow you to do. How will Instagram be removing the alleged likes and follows? “We’ve built machine learning tools to help identify accounts which use these services and remove the inauthentic activity. Accounts we identify using these services will receive an inapp message alerting them that we’ve removed the inauthentic likes, follows and comments. We will also ask them to secure their account by changing their password.” Instagram also points out that many of these sophisticated softwares also use people’s accounts to fuel further activity - like liking and following other accounts on their behalf. Those actions will also be reversed, eliminating their effectiveness. A much needed move for Instagram, particularly, as noted, given the rise of influencer marketing and selling power likes.

Parent company Facebook has been working to make influencer marketing more transparent, with tools like Branded Content tags and its ‘Brand Collabs Manager’, which seeks to connect businesses with relevant platform voices for marketing outreach. Given it’s so easy to buy influencers, Facebook and Instagram both know that they need to do more to ensure businesses are generating real results from their investment in the practice - otherwise the option loses credibility, and investment dips, which is clearly bad for business more broadly. In fact, other social platforms are looking to do more on this front in the war against fake following - Twitter has been seen to be removing fake accounts at a higher rate than ever before and LinkedIn is improving its processes to remove spam and junk content. But Instagram, which sees the most influencer marketing investment of all social platforms, is where the effort really needs to be focused. While the brands themselves need to get better at identifying those with genuine influence over their target audience, any assistance the platforms themselves can provide will also help. Instagram has also stated that it’ll have “more updates in the coming weeks” on additional measures it’s taking to tackle fake activity it’s the platform.

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Kiran Rai on 40+ country world tour and hosting 100th event and breaking diversity

Kiran Rai is an ordinary lad born in Nottinghamshire being from Hindustani parents based in London and Nottingham who has broken down the barriers for millions of asian youths across the world by showing them “nothing is impossible” and all you need is a “voice” and describes hard work as a professional actor and presenter comes with rejection. Kiran has successfully presented at his 100th major event including his 25th sport tournament and has been touring across the world in 40+ countries since august 2018 which have involved Formula 1, Wimbledon, World Cup, FA cup final, Moto GP, Challenge cup final, Hockey World Cup, Athletics World Cup, ECB cricket - England v Australia, Darts World Cup, WWE smackdown, London Marathon, Muay Thai grand, table tennis World Cup, British Athletics, Netball world cup, dance world championships, NFL, Para athletics to name a few and even presented on stage at the brit awards and has been discussed in more than 750 international newspapers across the globe and walking out global YouTube KSI but has explained that “being in the spotlight is not attractive” and has stated that for the past 7-8 years while trying his hardest to work in the world of the arts and entertainment is rather a lonely business. There are times that myself knowing Kiran while I write this piece seeing the excitement he once had when he first started his career until today the excitement for the career is rather gruelling. He recently was in Australia leading on the world known exhibition ‘Cake Bake and Sweets

Show’ which the entrepreneur magazine in South Africa stated Kiran as “hard worker” lead on a team of 8 people in Melbourne as the sponsorship director and hosted the MOTO Grand Prix in Melbourne and Monster Jam AU in AAMI Park here is a interview with Kiran Rai himself. 1) Kiran you’ve been on tour, how was it? It was good but rather lonely, I made so many new friends and travelled the world promoting social box and working with cake and bake but was exhausted after but went to so many countries, it was incredible. 2) You have been mentored by Ralph Pereira, what’s it like working with him? - Yes Ralph is great, he is a dear friend of mine but has always helped me and ventured into my projects and without him, none of this would of happened. We are working on 3 lions/3LT which is the next step with Ralph. 3) What’s Cake and Bake about? - Cake and Bake is a brilliant concept that involved bringing 10 top chef’s across the world with huge amount of audience reach and has two shows in Sydney and Melbourne and invites the world leading caters, it really was such a great time to work within a team and have the exposure of working with them. 4) You tried in India, recently in Bollywood, what happened? - I met all the greatest directors and even sat with John Abraham but my Hindi wasn’t up to scratch and they told me “go and learn your Hindi and then come back and show us what improvement” which is fair enough.

5) Who else do you dedicate your self success too? - My Mum and my Dad but also if it wasn’t for my great mentor before Pedro Carvalho, I wouldn’t be sitting infront of you because he gave me the ‘arrogance’ to fight anything and to keep pushing. Me and him have always had our up’s and down’s but I generally love him and respect him because he is a family friend of mine and also he gave me more than others, he gave me time and also he didn’t accept my baby tantrums, there were times working with Pedro were hard but he tried his best to shape me and he never accepted my rubbish. 6) What’s the next step? - I am learning Hindi right now and then I will be travelling to the US to try out in Hollywood, I am 26 years old and I am not allowing myself to stand around any longer, I will make success. 7) Any advice to others? - Don’t be afraid of anything, just go and get it. 8) You have hosted your 100th show including your 25th sport event, you continuing? - I am doing my last 2 major sport events and then I’m done, it will be the end of the road for me. 9) What’s the next events? - I can’t say until its all confirmed but it’s massive! 10) You travelled on your tour on first class on emirates and Singapore Airlines across the world, how did that happen? - Yes I want to say thank you for emirates for allowing me to use the lounges and Singapore Airlines for giving me first class treatment, it really was a blessing.


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December 2018

‘INVISIBLE’ CINEMA SCREEN TO FIGHT FRAUD HAS TO BE SCENE TO BE BELIEVED

The words ‘invisible cinema’ are about to take on a completely new meaning today with the unveiling of an innovative cinema screen, projecting films that are completely invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen through a special pair of glasses. Besides offering cinema-goers a unique experience, there’s a very serious reason behind the launch of the ‘invisible’ cinema. Santander wanted to find a way to educate and underline to young adults the importance of keeping banking and personal data to themselves to avoid falling victim to scammers. The innovative screen will be delivering several ‘invisible cinema’ experiences, entitled “For Your Eyes Alone” across the UK over the next few months, having kicked off at the Regent Street cinema in London on 19th November. Each event is completely free to attend and will be a fun and memorable way for under 25s to learn about the dangers of over-sharing. Officially launching the campaign is Love Island finalist, and 20-year-old social media fan, Wes Nelson. Wes can be seen giving his scam advice in an ‘invisible’ trailer which will be shown on the invisible cinema screen at all of the cinema experiences. Wes will warn audience members of the dangers that can come from sharing confidential and personal information before audiences sit back and watch the movie ‘Now You See Me’. Wes Nelson comments: “I think it’s really important to raise awareness of scams and fraud among people my age. Scammers are so savvy these days and it’s scary to see what information they can get hold of and use to trick you with. If you ‘get a text’ make sure its genuine, and don’t become a member of this DBS club (Don’t Be Silly) by sharing your personal and security information – you don’t know what kind of trouble it

could get you in to!” To make the screen, Santander teamed up with technology specialists to remove the polarisation filters from dozens of high-definition LCD screens which makes the screens appear completely blank to the naked eye. The polarisation filters were then used as the lenses for viewing glasses which make the cinema screen magically appear. According to research carried out by Santander to understand the behaviours of 18 – 24 year olds1, more than four in ten (42 per cent) have shared their online banking passwords and 85 per cent have shared details on social media that could help build a personal profile exploitable by scammers. It is perhaps of little surprise, therefore, to discover that almost two thirds (64 per cent) of under 25s have been approached by scammers and one in five (20 per cent) have sadly fallen victim to their scams. Chris Ainsley, Head of Fraud Strategy at Santander said: “Today’s under 25s have grown up online and spend a great deal of time using devices and social media. However it’s evident that one of the pitfalls of their online lifestyles is a culture of over sharing and being careless with sensitive information – and this is leaving them highly vulnerable to scams and fraud”. “Our invisible cinema events are an innovative and entertaining way of raising awareness among this age group of the importance of keeping online banking details, passwords and personal information completely secret and for their eyes alone.” Delving further into the research by Santander UK, the results suggest: • Around 86 per cent of U25s do their banking online and of these, over four in ten have shared their online passwords. • Several social media sites have the option for users to increase their pri-

vacy and security settings – only half of 18-24 year-olds check and update these regularly. • Over two thirds of U25s have made themselves even more vulnerable by using unsecured WiFi networks to access sites requiring passwords, carry personal data or are used to make financial transactions. • Four in ten (39 per cent) of those questioned would provide personal and security detail to somebody phoning up claiming to be from their bank. • Six per cent of those surveyed would allow someone remote access to their bank account. • Over half (52 per cent) of under 25s believe they have been approached by scammers on social media, while seven in ten (71 per cent) have been approached via email. Santander is also working in partnership with Barnardo’s to ensure that each event is open to a wider range of young people in the area. Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan said: “Barnardo’s supports some of the most vulnerable young people, including care leavers, to learn how to keep their financial information safe, alongside other valuable life skills. “We really welcome Santander’s Invisible Cinema events, which will help young people we support and many others to understand the importance of keeping passwords secret and avoiding fraud.” The first experiences will take place at Westminster, Brighton, Exeter, UCL and Sheffield Hallam universities.

AW Facts Did you know? The name Google was created accidentally. A spelling error was made by the original founders who were under the impression they were going for Googol

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Drone helps broadband speeds to soar in Highland glen

Engineers achieved a Scottish first to bring ultrafast broadband to Glenmazeran. Engineers building a new full-fibre broadband network in challenging Highland terrain this week drafted in a DRONE to fly cable across a river. The team from Openreach is working with the community of Glenmazeran on an ambitious project to bring more reliable, ultrafast broadband to residents. New, armoured cable has been buried along 10 kilometres of single-track road through the glen to the right of the River Findhorn, where most of the 37 scattered homes included in the first phase of the project are located. But a Scottish engineering first was needed to reach one remote property on the other side of the fast-flowing river – the use of a drone. Kevin Drain, Openreach’s chief engineer for the North of Scotland, said: “Although Glenmazeran is only 20 miles from Inverness, the properties are very remote and scattered. We’ve had to contend with steep drops and bankings as we buried cable along the single-track road. But the biggest challenge was reaching one remote home, 400 metres away from the main route, where the fibre cable needed to span a 50-metre wide stretch of river. “In the past we’ve tried all sorts of ways to do this – like attaching cables to fishing lines, golf balls and even hammers, which frankly proved hit and miss.” “This is the first time we’ve used a drone to drop fibre into place here in Scotland and as a delivery method it’s unbeatable. Drones will now become part of our toolkit to reach places where the terrain means traditional engineering is difficult or impossible”. “We did need to practice our technique,” Kevin added. “It’s a bit different from connecting up a street in Inverness, that’s for sure!” Engineers completed a week’s training to become certified by the Civil Aviation Authority in order to fly the drone for commercial purposes, and the Scot-

tish Openreach team is one of only five in the UK now approved to fly drones. The Glenmazeran project is co-funded by residents, community use money from local windfarm operator Eneco, and Openreach. Residents are also helping to dig in the final lengths of cable which travel from the new fibre spine to their properties. Work is ongoing to connect local properties to Fibre-to-the-Premises technology (FTTP), with the network now live and around two-thirds of the 37 homes now able to order a service. The rest are expected to follow later this month. The future-proof, more reliable technology is capable of delivering download speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1Gbps) – enough bandwidth to stream 200 HD Netflix movies simultaneously. Robert Thorburn, partnership director for Openreach in Scotland, added: “Our engineers love nothing more than a challenge and Glenmazeran has provided us with a great opportunity to test our skills. We’re constantly working on new techniques and technologies to help us take fibre broadband further and faster, and, importantly, to drive down delivery costs”. “This may be one of the quirkier uses for a drone, but innovations like this means we can now deliver highspeed broadband in situations where traditionally it’s been impossible for any business or partnership to justify the work.” The Community Fibre Partnership scheme is designed to help people in places not included in any current roll-out plans to bring fibre broadband to their local area, working with Openreach to co-fund the installation. The UK Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme can be used by small and medium-sized businesses and the local communities around them to contribute to the cost of full fibre broadband. Businesses can claim up to £3,000, and residents can also benefit from the scheme with a voucher worth £500 as part of a wider project.


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AW’S

Kitchen

Wholegrains one of the most important food groups for preventing type 2 diabetes It doesn’t matter if it’s rye, oats, or wheat. As long as it is wholegrain, it can prevent type 2 diabetes. This is the finding of a new study from researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and the Danish Cancer Society Research Center. The comprehensive study is a strong confirmation of previous research findings on the importance of whole grains for prevention of type 2 diabetes. The ability to use wholegrains for prevention of type 2 diabetes – previously sometimes known as adult-onset diabetes – has been known for a long time. But the role of different wholegrain sources has not been investigated. It has also been unclear how much wholegrain is needed to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. “Most studies similar to ours have previously been conducted in the USA, where people mainly get their wholegrain from wheat,” says Rikard Landberg, Professor in Food and Health at Chalmers University of Technology, and senior researcher on the study. “We wanted to see if there was a difference between different cereals. One might expect there would be, because they contain different types of dietary fibre and bioactive substances, which have been shown to influence risk factors for type 2 diabetes.” The study was conducted in Denmark, where there is a big variation in wholegrain-intake. The study showed that it made no difference which type of wholegrain product or cereal the participants ate – ryebread, oatmeal, and muesli, for example, seem to offer the same protection against type 2 diabetes. What is more important is how much wholegrain one eats each day – and the study also

provides important clarification to the scientific knowledge when it comes to daily dosages. The participants were divided into 4 different groups, based on how much wholegrain they reported eating. Those with the highest consumption ate at least 50 grams of wholegrain each day. This corresponds to a portion of oatmeal porridge, and one slice of rye bread, for example. The proportion who developed type 2 diabetes was lowest in the group which reported the highest wholegrain consumption, and increased for each group which had eaten less wholegrain. In the group with the highest wholegrain intake, the diabetes risk was 34 percent lower for men, and 22 percent lower for women, than in the group with the lowest wholegrain intake. “It is unusual to be able to investigate such a large range when it comes to how much wholegrain people eat,” says Rikard Landberg. “If you divided American participants into 4 groups, the group that ate the most wholegrain would be the same level as the group that ate the least wholegrain in Denmark. In Europe, Scandinavia eats the most, Spain and Italy the least.” “Our results are in line with dietary advice, which recommends switching out foods containing white flour for wholegrains,” says Rikard Landberg. “You get extra health benefits – white flour has some negative effects on health, while wholegrain has several positive effects, beyond protection against type 2 diabetes.”

Vegetarian and vegan consumers unhappy with lack of product options Research reveals many vegans and vegetarians are dissatisfied with product options Almost half of vegans and a quarter of vegetarians are dissatisfied with the choice of food products available to them, new research has revealed. Specialist PR agency Ingredient Communications commissioned market research experts Surveygoo to conduct an online survey of 1,000 consumers (500 each in the UK and US). Overall, 4% said they were vegan, although this figure was higher in the US (6%) and among 18-24-year olds (13%). A further 4% were vegetarian, with 3% describing themselves as pescatarian. The survey also suggests that large numbers of consumers are planning major changes to their diets over the coming year. Three in five vegetarians (60%) are considering becoming vegan. This trend was considerably higher in the US, where 90% said they were considering veganism, as opposed to 33% in the UK. More than four in ten meat-eaters (42%) intend either to reduce their meat consumption or stop eating meat altogether. Yet despite vegetarianism and veganism apparently becoming more mainstream, almost half the vegans surveyed (46%) said they were dissatisfied with the choice of suitable food and beverage products available to them. Although vegetarians were more likely to be happy, 23% said they were dissatisfied with product choices. Richard Clarke, Founder & Managing Director of Ingredient Communications, said: “Our research indicates the scale and pace of the

shift towards vegetable-based diets. Whatever the reason for their choices – ethical, environmental or healthrelated ― many consumers expect the food industry to do more to keep up with them. For manufacturers of both finished products and ingredients, it’s clear that there are rewards for putting greater focus on the needs of vegans and vegetarians.”

AW Facts Did you know? Most wasabi consumed is not real wasabi, but colored horseradish.


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December 2018

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Top tips for buying a used car plus: how you can get a great deal on a Volvo this month

Xtrac celebrates 25 years of preparing world-class apprentices and undergraduates Xtrac celebrates 25 years of preparing world-class apprentices and undergraduates for a high-performance engineering career. In November, prime minister Teresa May’s visit to Xtrac, the gearbox manufacturing specialist was also being applauded by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, for the “extremely high standard” of its apprenticeship scheme. “I was thrilled to receive this award on behalf of Xtrac in the same year that we celebrate our 25th anniversary of developing world-class apprentices and student engineers,” commented Xtrac’s apprenticeship manager Warren Page, who also serves as a member of the City & Guilds sponsored Industry Skills Board. “Xtrac demands high-level skills from its employees, and the success of our training is reflected in the high retention of apprentices and undergraduates that remain with the company in the long term. We are very proud of this achievement, which significantly underpins the company’s commercial success.” Peter Digby president of Xtrac added: “Our training schemes are essential to enable our young people to make the most of the opportunity arising from our £22 million investment programme, which is equipping us with additional state-of-the-art specialist gear manufacturing equipment. Advanced technology training is fully integrated into all aspects of the programme, which is given the highest priority to support the future success of the company. By empowering our employees and actively promoting from within we can ensure that we have the best people generating the best ideas to deliver innovative solutions to all our customers.” Keeping policymakers informed Xtrac was first invited to discuss its training scheme with Members of Parliament in 2008 when the Appren-

ticeship Reform Bill was being drafted. The modern National Apprenticeship Service was launched the following year. By providing a high-level benchmark, Xtrac is regularly consulted by government departments wanting to understand how its experience can help the training needs of the UK’s engineering and manufacturing sectors. Today, Xtrac receives over 100 applicants annually for its apprenticeship programme, which started around 25 years ago and is approved by The Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance known as Semta, a not-for-profit organisation responsible for engineering skills for the future of the UK’s most advanced sectors. Jane Gilham, head of human resources at Xtrac, who for much of this time has represented the company and Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) in meetings with policymakers and UK parliamentary committees to help develop best practice for component suppliers and customers, said: “Since its inception, 60 apprentices have undertaken our Semta approved advanced apprenticeship in mechanical engineering and additionally 67 undergraduates have studied at UK universities. With Xtrac’s financial backing so they don’t have excessive student loans to repay, these young adults work hard for nationally recognised qualifications including engineering certificates, degrees and even doctorates. The impact on our innovative business model is a steady flow of skilled technicians and professional engineers for our cutting-edge design and manufacturing operations.” In Berkshire, Xtrac works closely with Newbury College alongside the Williams Formula 1 team (based at Wantage in Oxfordshire) to help deliver dedicated engineering courses and has also been in the vanguard of delivering

work-related training throughout the Thames Valley region. After formal induction into the company, each apprentice spends the first 16 months of their programme experiencing all areas of the business under the watchful eye of Warren Page, who supports each apprentice for the duration of the programme and helps to ease their transition from school to full time employment and ongoing studies leading to the practice of continuing professional development throughout their careers. “Our apprenticeship programme has long played a vital role in the development of skills essential to the success of our business,” adds Page. “It also provides a natural progression for schoolchildren wanting to develop a career in engineering and many of our apprentices go on to become graduate engineers within the company.” Inspiring schoolchildren with science, engineering and technology, Xtrac doesn’t just wait for 16 and 17year olds to apply for an apprenticeship but is actively involved in developing initiatives for schoolchildren to interest them in a technology career. The company frequently offers work experience to Year 10 and 11 students as well as enabling factory visits and arranging career fairs aimed at Year 9 students onwards. To attract school leavers at age 16 into an engineering apprenticeship and 18year olds into an engineering degree, Xtrac has long since recognised the need to interest secondary schoolchildren in science, technology, engineering and maths – the STEM subjects. It’s why it maintains close links with the local Berkshire school community, who regularly bring classes of boys and girls to visit the company.

Buying a used car can be a great option for motorists, particularly those looking to save a bit of money on their purchase. It can also be a daunting process, however, which is why Volvo Car UK is offering some top tips for motorists considering a used car. Bruce Greenwood, Used Car Programme Manager at Volvo Car UK, said: “Buying a used car is exciting, whether it’s your first car or you’re upgrading to a newer model. Research has found that up to 60% of people looking to make a car purchase have not made up their mind if it will be a new or used car. Much of this doubt stems from uncertainty around used cars, which I think are a fantastic option that shouldn’t be overlooked”. “It’s important to do your homework and shop around before making a purchase, but to help further, we’ve compiled our top tips to help make the process as smooth and as enjoyable for motorists as possible.” 1. Is it too good to be true? When buying a used car peace of mind is as important as getting the best price. It’s important to be sure the history of the vehicle has been verified and that the vehicle has been thoroughly prepared. All the Volvo Selekt approved-used cars at more than 100 Volvo retailers nationwide are less than seven years old with fewer than 100,000 miles on the clock. They all go through more than 100 checks by our Volvo trained technicians, and the cars’ software is updated. 2. Try before you buy When you’ve found a car you’re interested in, it’s important you take it for a test drive, not only so you can get a feel for the car, but also so you can listen out for any potential issues with it. At Volvo, all of our approved-used car customers receive our exchange guarantee, meaning that if you’re not totally satisfied with your car within 30 days or 1,500 miles, we’ll exchange it for another car of equivalent value. 3. The price is right – or is it? Before signing anything, make sure that the price quoted is the price you’ll pay. It sounds like an obvious one, but there may be extras required that you hadn’t considered. All our approved used cars come with a minimum 12-month unlimited-mileage warranty and 12-month

Volvo Assistance cover, all as standard within the Volvo Selekt package. 4. Look to the future When buying a car, it’s important to think about the future, not least in terms of the mileage you expect to put on the car or how long you aim to have it for. It’s also important to know what expenses you may have to pay out for in the not-too-distant future – an MoT test being one of them. It can easily happen that you buy a used car and the MoT Test comes around, and you could end up finding a host of things that need to be addressed. For peace of mind here at Volvo, MoT Test Cover is included with all approved-used car purchases. This means that when the next MoT test is due, it’s covered for the majority of items which may result in a test failure – even if the first MoT is not due for a couple of years. 5. Timing is everything There’s no bad time to buy a used car, but there are certainly better times to start your search, and being aware of sales and offers can help you save even more money on your purchase. While there are little differences when buying from a private seller, most retailers will have seasonal sales and offers that you can take advantage of. From Friday 16 until Monday 19 November, we’re holding Approved Used Car Sale Events at all our retailers in the UK, giving motorists the opportunity to test drive hundreds of used cars and enjoy 0% APR finance and two services for £199*. It’s a great opportunity for motorists to see what we have on offer, and we hope to find lots of people the right car, at the right price. For more information on the Volvo Selekt Approved Used Car Sale Events, please go to volvocars.com or visit your local Volvo retailer.

AW Facts Did you know? The average car has around 30,000 unique parts.When you think about it, it’s a miracle they don’t break down more often.


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ABARTH 124 SPIDER TAKES STARRING ROLE ALONGSIDE STING & SHAGGY IN “GOTTA GET BACK MY BABY” MUSIC VIDEO

The Abarth 124 Spider takes a starring role alongside Sting & Shaggy in the official music video for their new track, “Gotta Get Back My Baby” – the latest single, co-produced by Teflon (Wyclef Jean, Fat Joe, Ruff Ryders) and Martin Kierszenbaum (Sting, Mylène Farmer, Lady Gaga), off their album, 44/876, which has above 28 weeks in the Billboard Reggae chart. The official YouTube music video, which has over 2.6 million views, was filmed in the vein of ‘80s and ‘90s buddy cop television series and movies including “Miami Vice” and “Bad Boys,” and was directed by Michael Garcia. The video pairs

Sting and Shaggy as two Miami detectives who convince their Captain that they are “going to need the Spider” – meaning his prized Abarth 124 Spider– as part of their South Beach stakeout for “the most dangerous woman in the country.” The Abarth brand is also supporting the video globally across its digital and social channels, including in the U.S on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. “We continue to strive for the unexpected in our marketing efforts across all FCA brands, and certainly here, the Abarth brand’s fun-spirited personality gives us the opportunity to be

just a little bit more adventurous and playful in our approach with our music partners,” said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer and Head of the FIAT Brand, FCA. “The Abarth 124 Spider is incredibly honoured to play the role of side-kick to such legendary and audacious artists as Sting and Shaggy in their latest music video.” Sting & Shaggy’s album 44/876 (Cherrytree/A&M/Interscope Records) is available now for digital download through streaming and digital subscription services. The iconic duo initially joined forces to record a new song, “Don’t Make Me Wait” (which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s digital reggae singles chart), as a tribute to the Caribbean sounds that influenced them both and ended up creating an entire album full of joyful and uplifting, melodic music. With its title referencing their respective telephone country codes (44 for the UK, Sting’s birthplace and 876 for Jamaica, Shaggy’s homeland), 44/876 honours the duo’s deep-rooted love for Jamaica: Shaggy’s birthplace, and where Sting penned such classics as “Every Breath You Take.” Sting & Shaggy have extended their collaboration to the road for a lauded world tour, combining their respective bands to perform their greatest hits as well as new songs off 44/876, together.

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NO LIMITS. TAKING ON THE WORLD’S MOST ICONIC MOTORCYCLE COURSE – ON FOUR WHEELS

The Isle of Man TT Festival is among the most famous motorsport festivals in the world. Every year, over two weeks, 30 million fans tune in to see top motorcyclists test their talent on the incredible “Mountain Course”. But you don’t have to be on two wheels to get the best out of the Mountain Road – one of Europe’s Greatest Driving Roads. For the latest in Ford’s series of films that showcase hidden gems for drivers and travellers alike, journalist Steve Sutcliffe got behind the wheel of the Ford Mustang Bullitt, on the island where many roads are not restricted by speed limits. (Although there are still laws against careless and dangerous driving.) “Imagine German autobahns, then add hills and twists, and

shrink it to a single carriageway with incredible views, and what you have are these utterly fantastic, and dramatic, roads,” said Sutcliffe. “The Mountain Road feels – and is – an utterly dramatic place to drive. It’s epic, and quite unlike anywhere else”. The mountain itself is said to be unique as the only place from which you can see all four countries that make up the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. And regardless of the opportunity to drive fast, it does pay to slow down and enjoy the incredible scenery, as well as the local hospitality. “The food and drink is excellent, pretty much everywhere on the island,” said Sutcliffe. “You may go there for the exhilaration of driving one of Europe’s

most notorious roads, but it’s the people, the food and the scenery that will compound your sadness to be getting the ferry home.” This is the ninth film in the series that has included everything from a Ford GT supercar across the stunning Atlantic Ocean Road, in Norway, to a Fiesta ST on the virtually empty Via Campocatino, in Italy. Rated on factors including thrill factor, food and road surface, the Mountain Road achieved the highest score in the series to date. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the legendary Warner Bros. film of the same name, the new special edition Ford Mustang Bullitt is available to order across Europe powered by an enhanced version of Ford’s 5.0-litre V8 engine delivering 460 PS and 529 Nm of torque.

How Drivers can Deal with the Nuisance of December Rain This season has seen some of the most frequent downpour we have had for quite some time – here is some advice from IAM RoadSmart on how best to cope with it. Heavy rain: • Heavy rain will affect your visibility, so take it slow. Rule 126 of the Highway Code states that the braking distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you should be two seconds when driving on a dry road, and at least four seconds in the wet. It is even longer on icy surfaces. IAM RoadSmart recommend up to 10 times the braking distance when driving on ice. • Your windscreen should be clean, wipers effective and the jets positioned correctly and aimed at the screen. It is sensible to clean the windscreen, make any necessary adjustments and remove anything from the main area before you start your journey. • A good rule of thumb is that if you need windscreen wipers, then you need your headlights. Automatic light settings will not always activate in bad weather conditions, so it is up to you to make a sensible decision as to whether these need to be turned on. Aquaplaning: • If the water is standing in puddles

on the road surface, your car is at risk of aquaplaning. Aquaplaning is where a wedge of water forms in front of the tyre and lifts it up off the road surface. This is caused by the tread not being able to displace the amount of water present. To recover form aquaplaning, ease gently off your accelerator, have a firm grip of the steering wheel and be sure not to make any sudden steering actions. The car will eventually regain its grip as the water clears. Floods: • First ask yourself - can you take another route? If not, then you need to identify how deep the flood is. If the standing water is more than six inches deep, avoid driving through it. If you are familiar with the road, you can judge the flood in relation to the kerb. • If heavy rain was not the cause of the flood, then what was? And what impact on the road does it have? For example, if it is a burst water main, the standing water may look like a normal flood but the road surface beneath the water may be completely broken up. If you are unsure how the flood has formed, then avoid it altogether. • Are there other vehicles similar to yours that are safely driving through?

From this, make a judgement call as to whether it is safe to travel through or not. • If the water is fast flowing, do not attempt to drive through it, as there is a real danger of your car being swept off the road. • If you have taken everything into consideration and decide to drive through the flood, be sure to do so slowly. The best approach is to press lightly on your clutch and add gentle pressure on your accelerator

to increase your engine revs. Do so without increasing your speed, in a similar way to how you would undertake a hill start. This will prevent water from entering your exhaust. If you are in an automatic car, accelerate slightly but control the speed with your brakes. When you have passed the flood, test your brakes to make sure they are dry and working properly. • If you are in the slightest doubt, then turn around and don’t go

through the flood. Often modern saloon cars have the air intake in the wheel arch, which may be below the water level. If your engine should take in water, it will immediately hydro lock and the engine will stop. • Remember to stay alert and avoid splashing pedestrians. If this is done accidentally- even when causing splashed when driving through puddles at the side of the road - you could receive a fixed penalty and three points on your license for driving without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other road users. If deliberately done, it could be a public order offence, a court appearance and a fine. Richard Gladman, head of driver and rider standards, said: “With the British weather the way it is, we should all be well practised at driving in the rain. Keeping your car maintained and the rubber (wipers and tyres) in good condition will help you stay safe. In the recent extremes, we have seen that standing water and floods are becoming more commonplace, so take extra care and if possible avoid driving through standing water. If you’re in any doubt about the depth or surface underneath a flood, then it’s best not to take any chances.”


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December 2018

WINTER IS COMING

SOCKS STINK…INSTEAD GIVE THE THRILL OF A LAMBORGHINI AT CHRISTMAS

Check your vauxhall in for a service and get a treat

• Check and Treat programme prepares drivers for frosty driving conditions • 25-point check costs just £25 and includes a complementary gift • Treats include a £20 M&S Dine In e-Gift Card or £20 Domino’s Pizza voucher e-code Luton – As temperatures drop and ice appears on our roads, Vauxhall is encouraging its customers to book their car in for a comprehensive Check and Treat health check, which includes a complementary gift. For just £25, engineers carry out a full 25-point check, carried out by trained Vauxhall technicians. This includes testing the working order of everything from lights and electrics, to brakes and suspension, as well as topping up vital fluids. Vauxhall-trained technicians know the vehicle range inside out, so drivers can be sure they’ve made the right choice by bringing their car to an authorised retailer. Not only does the service cost just £25, but as ‘thank you’ from Vaux-

hall, customers can also choose from one of the following treats: • £20 M&S Dine In e-Gift Card • £20 Domino’s Pizza voucher e-code • Rakuten TV – six movie rental • Vauxhall European Travel Kit, worth £35 This offer provides complete peaceof-mind and road safety over the winter months. Customers can even book online. For more details, visit: https://www.vauxhall.co.uk/owners/ offers/check-and-treat.html . “Being faced with driving on icy roads and in poor visibility makes it more important than ever for motorists to make sure that their car is in full working order,” said Alex Shields, Vauxhall’s Head of Aftersales Marketing. “Proper preparation will not only save you money, it can also save you the aggravation and nuisance of having to take time off work or time out of your day to sort out a problem that could have easily been avoided.”

Cost Examples of ‘Traditional’ Gift £30-£40 Italian socks gift box, set of 3 £40-£50 Mini Candle Collection, Set of 4 £50-£60 Rib Jumper £60-£70 Leather felt laptop case £70-£80 Christmas hamper with fizz £80-£90 Silver Diamond Heart Pendant £90-£100 Bathing ritual set Forget the traditional this Christmas as supercar driving experiences can cost the same as socks. Make a change…give a Lamborghini driving experience as a Christmas present. Soap doesn’t wash…luxury soap or a blast around Brands Hatch? The thrill of driving a supercar around a race track can cost the same as a gift set of socks as www.trackdays.co.uk urges Brits to move away from traditional Christmas presents. Yet the price of a supercar driving experience, which start from just £35 and are available at multiple locations, closely matches many of the UK’s favourite

www.trackdays.co.uk alternative Single Supercar Blast Aston Martin V8 Vantage Blast Double Supercar Driving Blast with High Speed Ride Lamborghini Gallardo Thrill Supercar Treble Taster Offer 3 Supercar Blast McLaren MP4 12C GT3 Thrill

gifts, including knitted jumpers and luxury soap! And staggering as it sounds, it is estimated that Brits spend almost £20 billion on Christmas presents, which equates to more than 500 million supercar driving experiences. Dan Jones, operations manager at www. trackdays.co.uk, said: “You can almost hear the sighs of disappointment across the UK as countless people unwrap their Christmas presents only to find the predictable pair of socks or knitted jumper. “Compare this to receiving a supercar driving experience on a race track, which can cost about the same. The thrill of driving on the circuit is only

part of the enjoyment as there’s also the anticipation beforehand and the memories afterwards.” Other traditional festive favourites include scented candles and hampers…. both of which have a price comparable driving experience including an Aston Martin V8 Vantage Blast or a supercar treble taster. Dan added: “Christmas is a time for giving, but this year try something that is not traditional and that the recipient will actually want!” For more information about TrackDays, which offers a huge variety of driving experiences at race circuits around the UK, visit www.trackdays.co.uk

MERCEDES-BENZ CLUB ENJOY ANOTHER NEC CLASSIC CAR SHOW

2018 Mercedes-Maybach S 650 supplied by Mercedes-Benz on the Stand The Mercedes-Benz Club enjoyed a very successful NEC Show with a record number of 185 new members signed up and over 1,500 members visiting the stand and enjoying the complimentary refreshments on offer in the Club’s Café over a very busy 3 day period. The Club stand was larger than ever before and displayed a range of members cars from the 1930s to the 80s plus a new Mercedes-Benz Maybach loaned by Mercedes-Benz UK. The 1965 600 Grand owned by Club stalwart Geoffrey Hunter was a crowd pleaser as was the diminutive 1938 170V Sports Roadster owned by Derek Wood. These were supplemented by an iconic 1960 300SL roadster a more modern 300SL from 1988, a 220 cabriolet B from 1951 and a 1959 190b Ponton which was judged the “best car on the stand”. These pristine examples were in stark contrast to a rusty W107

SL chassis provided by the SL Shop to highlight the problems to look out for. The stand at the NEC Show is produced at the Club’s own expense and the Club’s technical team were busy all weekend answering members queries. The Club’s charity is RNLI and just under £75 was in the collecting boxes

at the end of the Show. The MercedesBenz Club has over 12,000 Members and organises a huge range of events for them – ranging from national and international rallies to a prestigious concours competition and lots of social events, including local pub meetings and participation in shows and rallies

in the UK, Ireland and Europe. It is the only UK club recognised by Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd and Daimler AG. Founded in 1952, it is the oldest Mercedes club in the world and caters for Mercedes-Benz cars of all ages. It publishes a monthly, full colour, 80-plus page, A4 magazine. The Club

provides a comprehensive range of technical support for its Members via Model Register Captains and Technical Advisers, plus forums and a searchable Technical Reference Library on the Members’ pages of its website. Members also receive the Club Directory, which includes the ‘Good Garage Guide’ of Members’ recommendations. Club Members can take advantage of preferential terms from a wide range of companies and organisations. These include exclusive insurance policies plus discounts from appointed MercedesBenz dealers, hotel groups, ferry operators and car accessory suppliers. The Club also has a scheme to offer its Members tuition from the Institute of Advanced Motorists. To join the Mercedes-Benz Club please call 01780 482111 or visit https://www.mercedes-benz-club.co.uk


LOCAL 4-15

GLOBAL 16-20

BUSINESS 21-25

GLAM 26-33

HEALTH 34-35

TRAVEL 36-37

TECH 38-39

SPORTS

FOOD 40-41

MOTORING 42-44

SPORTS 45-47

December 2018

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Capital Business Hub Sponsors Sports Stars

Bilal Rocks the Cricket World

by Mohammed Zafran

My name is Bilal Mohammad and I am 19 years old. I was born in London and have lived here all my life. In the last few weeks I have started my first year studying Business and Management at University. Alongside my education, cricket has been a deep passion of mine from a young age. And how could it not be? I can remember learning how to hold a cricket bat perhaps at the same time as I learnt how to hold a pen - thanks to my father! My father used to play cricket in his youth and it is his almost obsessive passion for the sport that I have inherited. I started to play competitively for my local club, Ickenham CC at the age of 8. I was primarily a batsman and also bowled leg-spin. I was nominated to attend Middlesex County U10 trials in just my second year of play competitively. A few weeks later, I received a letter through the post saying that I had been selected as part of the main county squad. I was selected as a bowler. I had 20 catches dropped of my bowling and I was never given the opportunity to bat in the whole season. I remember quite well how disheartened I was in the winter months. It was my dad and my brothers who supported me during this tough period. That winter my dad took me to Karachi during the Christmas holidays to play cricket. I attended the Karachi Port Trust Academy daily which was a 5 minute walk from my Grandma’s house. Head Coach, Bharat Kumar would ensure I would receive a high standard of practice every day. He would put me in a net to bat against First-Class bowlers who were playing in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy at the time. Following my trip abroad I got in contact with Surrey CCC to play for them. I always considered myself as batsman as I was frustrated with my opportunities at both club and county level. I was told to play district cricket in the Surrey circuit and if I performed I would be drafted in the main county side. I had a solid start to the season for my new club Uxbridge CC, I will always be thankful to Uncle Abrar Dar who gave me the opportunity to open the batting. I topped the batting charts for the district team and took over 22 wickets which lead to a call up for the County side. I had been a regular for the county side and was scoring many runs in all

After Unite & Uplift entered the FA Communities League earlier this season, Capital Business Hub will be launching a Community orientated Football League. This will be a short-term project but will encourage all local businesses to become involved and view the

teams I was representing. Between 2011-2014, I had scored more than 1200 runs each season which led to being nominated for ‘Amateur Player of the Year’ at the Asian Cricket Awards 2014. I was given further good news that I had received a Cricket Scholarship to attend Charterhouse School, an independent boarding school which begins at Year 9. This was a life changing experience as I left being a more confident and independent. At 16, visiting Pakistan for several years now. I was then scouted to play for CandyLand, a Grade 2 First-Class team (One step below Division 1). A lot of National Team players also play in this competition, so a big performance could catch the eye of selectors. Having performed well I was given the opportunity to train alongside Lahore Qalandars during the inaugural year of the Pakistan Super League. It was a great opportunity to talk to some big Pakistani names that play for the Qalandars such as Fakhar Zaman and Yasir Shah. At the moment, I am balancing cricket with University. Along with these commitments, I support the family run cricket equipment and clothing business called Mars Cricket. I would just like to finish off this piece for the young readers who are younger than me reading this. Dreams are never too big. Chase your dreams, pick yourself up during hardship and keep re-evaluating yourself to make yourself better each day!

happenings of local youths in Birmingham with greater importance. Youths from varying community backgrounds, some who have been involved with crime or had a bad past, will have the opportunity to start a-fresh. Hence, every individual involved with the project can

say that they helped these youths on their journey of becoming responsible and integrated members of the Birmingham community. If you are interested in sponsoring a local sports team, you can enquire via the CBH number on 0121 773 2020.

Asians in football:

The Problem & the solution

For far too long, this discussion has been going on and lip service is the order of the day by everyone, from players, managers and the clubs. There seems to be little to no action or follow up to explore ideas to make it happen in reality. You just have to look at the 5-7 aside pitches in most cities, as well as a lot of 11 a side games to find Asians participating in the game but not making that jump into the semi-pro category or higher. Therefore, we can’t say there is a short-

age of Asian players/contenders. It seems to me there is a lack of direction, opportunity and route into semi-pro football for Asians. Only recently did I recommend a player called Umar Zaman from Birmingham to a semi-pro side called Black Country rangers in the Black Country, and not only is he flourishing in that side but he is also scoring goals whilst getting paid for playing the sport he loves. This is only a drop in the ocean as I believe there is so much undiscovered talent out there which we aim to find.

We are about to launch Asian football trials and tournaments in the Midlands very soon, to find the best Asian players ad to guide them into semi-pro football. They could even play for big leagues if they have the ability and the attitude to play at a higher level. We are also organising a group of influential ambassadors within the football industry, from the bame community around the UK, in order to form a group helping pave the way forward to make this happen on an even greater level. We will pursue this aim now with a passion until we see some huge change In order to live out our unfulfilled dreams of being professional footballers. I used to play for the Derby county schoolboys myself back in the day, but I didn’t make it as a pro, so I now know what it takes to make the grade. We need the community onside and united in order to do this. If you want to play organised football in The West Midlands or you know someone who has the ability to make it in this sport, then you can reach us by e-mail at: Secondchancefootball@hotmail.com

AW Facts Did you know? Athletic shoes make up about 20% of all shoe sales in the U.S.


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December 2018


Interview with British Body-Building Champion Syed Rahat 1. You’ve talked about your daughter being an inspiration for your dramatic life-style changes, and said she encouraged you to get into body building. Can you give more information about how she has influenced your fitness journey? That’s right; at one instance my daughter said to me ‘Daddy, I want to see your big muscles.’ I was quite surprised because it was such a peculiar request. Therefore, I delved into my own research and started my 12 week prep to move onto my fitness programme. It was even a dream of my late father to get awarded at a competing tournament, and I decided to make this goal my own and became determined to achieve it. 2. You were a former graphic designer and photographer; do you think that’s a career you can ever imagine yourself in again after all the success you’ve achieved as a body builder? That’s right, before I was a body builder I was a Graphic designer and photographer with my own production house. This was an equally challenging role as I had to manage my time between my family and my job as well. It has also been a passion of mine but at the moment my current focus is on my bodybuilding career. 3. What did it feel like winning first place at the UKBFF Federation in October this year? When you first started out in your career as a professional body builder did you think you would ever get this far? It felt amazing. I have been able to achieve my goals in my bodybuilding career by directing a lot of attention to my training and progress.

However, I never thought I would come as far as becoming British Champion 2018, in the little time I did since properly committing to my fitness journey. 4. Who are your idols in the body-building world and how do they inspire you? Like most youngsters, one of the body building role-models who inspired me from a young age was Arnold Schwarzenegger. I never thought of becoming a professional competitor as a child. But as an adult, when you have the motivation to achieve something, you know you have to do everything possible to achieve that goal. As I remember, when I was 14 weeks into my training I listened to an Arnold Schwarzenegger interview from when he was at the same. During my cardio session it gave me the strength to discipline myself and stay on track, which is really important part of winning.

5. Can you describe any difficulties you faced whilst you were training towards your goal and how you over-came them? I think the best person to describe my weight lifting journey would be my coach Nick Duffy, who has kindly inputted a statement about what training with me has been like: “Working with Syed Rahat Ali Shah, has been a whirlwind set of events with both ups and downs, physically but also mentality, the way contest preparation always is ‘if’ you’re working extremely hard round the clock. He came to me with the desire, passion and dream to win the UKBFF British Finals Masters Men’s Physique. With my experienced expertise and support, alongside his uppermost self-disci-

pline, motivation and willingness to bring the best shape to shape he ever has, we won the British Finals alongside a Top 6 finish at IFBB Arnold Classic. I have great respect for Syed Rahat Ali Shah, although difficult at times, for such a commitment to his dreams and next time we’ll be peaking for the Arnold Classic towards winning his category”. Even though I injured my shoulder in the last 2 years, I still kept going to accomplish my dream and winnig titles in two big championships; the Arnold Classic where I was placed in top 6 and as the 1st place British Champion. 6. What advice do you have for amateur bodybuilders who came from the same beginnings as yourself? The Bodybuilding community is extremely motivating due to competition and desire to be the best. Everyone has the same goal, to win, therefore it is a very competitive environment. However, people are willing to help you as much they can. Fellow competitors do share their different training methods and diet techniques. This helps you improve your own method and help you fix your weak points. 7. How do you balance family time with your difficult training programme? Without planning you can’t balance anything in your life, we all have 24 hours, minus sleep that’s only 18 hours, 8 hours is spent on your day-job, 2 hours travelling to get to work and come back home. After that you can decide how much time you spend eating and with your family. Therefore, only 2 to 3 hours daily is left for gym training. It’s

not easy but when you get used to it, working and balancing your home life becomes a habit. Lots of people give excuses on how they’re so busy with work that they can’t eat right and can’t train right, but if you discipline yourself then of course you can. 8. Where is your favourite gym and how long have you been a member? A place called The GYM247, where they allow me to train day and night. It’s based in Moseley and feels like my second home. I’ve been training there for the last 9 years. Of course I’m sponsored by other gyms but I really feel the most comfortable at The GYM247. 9. Can you describe a typical day of training for you, what exercise do you enjoy doing the most, how much cardio do you do? Etc. I train 6 times a day if I have competition coming up soon. I enjoy shoulder and arms training the most, and undergo cardio training twice a day, every day. 10. Where will you be competing next and what are your future plans? I will be competing in the World championship in 2019, which may be held in either South Africa or Barcelona. My future plans are to inspire the whole nation, I can help at any point if anyone wants to reach out and ask for my dieting or training plans. If you want Syed Rahat to help you in achieving your fitness goals, you can contact him on Instagram on the handle @rahatfitnessworld

By Manisha Bhanot


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