March 30 2015
It’s probably the only time high profile figures from the worlds of the arts mingle with so many of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs…
THERE were a host of celebrities at the high-end and distinctly elite Asian Business Awards 2015 on Friday (March 27).
Stars of stage and screen mingled with some of Britain’s richest people and it was a night of celebration for the community’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Nine awards were handed out on the evening in front of an 800 strong audience following a gala dinner and the convening of special business panel at the Park Plaza Westminister Bridge.
Preeya Kalidas (“Bend it Like Beckham” musical), Bhasker Patel (“Emmerdale“) and the BBC Asian Network breakfast presenter Tommy Sandhu were joined by Channel 4’s hit “Indian Summers” writer Paul Rutman at the glittering event, compered by BBC Asian Network presenter, Nihal. Singer/Actor Japjit Kaur, who was in the powerful production of “Nirbhaya” when it was in London last year, was just another one of the many stars to attend.
The stars of the soon to be released film, “Amar Akbar & Tony” also graced the event. Male leads Rez Kempton and Martin Delaney were joined by Amrita Acharia. Shujat Ali Khan, who has a track on the film scored by uber Asian music producer Rishi Rich, entertained guests in between the early breaks.
TV presenters Ranvir Singh (“Good Morning Britain“), Seema Pathan (Channel 4 “The Wright Stuff”) and well-known radio couple Sunny and Shay (BBC West Midlands 95.6FM and BBCLondon94.9FM) were also there. Film-mad Sunny Grewal compiles a film column for www.asianculturevulture.com every month.
Few awards though can boast the incredible plethora of tycoons who attend – GP Hinduja (Hinduja Group), Lord Swraj Paul (Caparo) and Subaskaran Allirajah (Lyca Mobile) and Jonathan Warburton (Warburton) were just some of the leading business figures at the high profile event.
Jasminder Singh, the chairman of the Edwardian Group, which is a prestigious chain of luxury hotels in the capital, was there in person to receive the coveted title of Asian Business of Year. A high-powered panel of judges from the world of business, investment and financial journalism thought the Edwardian Group had had an exceptional year and really stood out. It has already begun work on a new flagshhip £250mluxury hotel and private cinema development in Leicester Square.
Warburton and Hinduja were quizzed on stage by compere of the evening by Nihal.
The pair were joined by Amit Patel, who has just sold the pharmacy company he created for £306 million. He started Auden Mckenzie 15 years ago with some seed capital from his pharmacist father and in the first year, the firm had three employees and a turnover of around £60,000. By the time he sold the Ruislip-West London based firm, it had 80 employees and a turnover of more than £50m.
Patel’s story – from striving accountant to globetrotting pharmacy entrepreneur – is extensively covered in an interview with the exclusive publication that is released on the evening of the gala dinner – the “Asian Rich List“.
This profiles the country’s 101 richest Asians and includes many interviews with entrepreneurs who rarely talk to the press.
Lakshmi Mittal, once Britain’s richest man, who is now No2 on the “Asian Rich List” with a fortune estimated to be £9.7 billion, talks about the threat of Britain leaving the European Union and how it might damage the country’s interests.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, was the chief guest, and she paid tribute to the Asian business community and hoped that the torch of entrepreneurial zeal would pass from one generation to the next.
She said: “Today we celebrate some of the most successful Asians in the UK, many of whom started with very little money and a wealth of ideas and stamina and through sheer hard work made their way up the career ladder to be where they are today. Their work ethic is a true testament to the position they hold today in the global economy and I hope this serves as an inspiration to the next generation of budding entrepreneurs.”
Kalpesh Solanki, the managing editor of the Asian Media & Marketing Group, which organises the Asian Business Awards and publishes both the “Asian Rich List” and the iconic newspaper ‘Eastern Eye’, told the diverse audience of entrepreneurs and blue-chip industry leaders, that Britain had much to be proud of in fostering and supporting entrepreneurship.
“The enterprising spirit and the crucial role of entrepreneurs is vital not only to the economy but to society as a whole as it serves to inspire the next generation of businessmen and women. It is this attitude that will drive the economy forward, fundamentally creating jobs and giving families value and sense of purpose,” said Kalpesh.
Ranjan Mathai, India’s high commissioner to the UK, presented an award on the evening and said India was proud of the achievements of those who had left its shores, and had given so richly to their new country and, in many cases, had maintained their relations with the country of their origin.
Broadcaster Zee will show the event on its UK channel, dates to be announced…
Top picture: Jasminder Singh of the Edwardian Group receives the Asian Business of the Year Award from Ranjan Mathai, Indian High Commissioner, Ramniklal Solanki, editor-in-chief of the Asian Media & Marketing Group, and Keith Vaz MP
Collage (inset): Bhasker Patel; Nihal; Sunny Grewal; Rez Kempton, Shay and Bambi; Preeya Kalidas; Seema Pathan; Amrita Acharia & friend; Martin Delaney; Deepak Varma, GP Hinduja; Rami Ranger: Tommy Sandhu