April 12 2014
ANOTHER week, another awards ceremony.
It’s not a boast, let’s explain…
Last night the Asian Business Award, before that it was the Asian awards.
If you love business (or have a thing for rich people, don’t we all?), this is the award is to go to – because it is very rare to see such a high powered collection of very wealthy people in one room – the banqueting suite of the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge to be precise.
The short Q&A on the evening with three tycoons, hosted by the evening’s effervescent compere Nihal, the BBC Asian Radio Network presenter, illustrated this.
On stage he had Sri Prakash Lohia (Lakshmi Mittal’s brother in law), who runs the diversified group, Indorama. He is estimated to be worth £2 billion and is no.4 on the “Asian Rich List” (ARL2014), which was released exclusively on the evening to guests as they left. This publication profiles the wealthiest 101 Asians in the UK each year.
Alongside him on that Q&A panel was Vijay Patel from pharmacy firm Waymade, worth £500 million and no. 14= on the “ARL2014”, and next to him was Zameer Choudrey, of cash and carry giants, Bestway and estimated to be worth £410m and no.16 on the “ARL2014”.
That was just the panel on the stage, in the audience there really were a few other billionaires. In fact the room was estimated to contain people whose combined wealth is somewhere north of £20bn – but not quite the total of those in the whole “ARL2014” which is calculated to be almost £52bn.
These are staggering figures by anyone’s standards and chief guest Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, the chief guest, paid rich (excuse the pun) tribute to the community and saluted its entrepreneurial zeal.
What is great about the night is that it is truly a celebration of excellence – many of these folks started very humbly with just a dream and vision (not too much unlike the others at the very beginning of their long journey) and it’s given added cachet by a smattering of celebrities – not as many as or as high profile as the Asian Awards but still a decent number and many from the acting fraternity: Sudha Bhuchar (Tamasha), Shobu Kapoor (“Citizen Khan“), Shaheen Khan (“Bend it Like Beckham”), Bhaskar Patel (“Emmerdale“), Ace Bhatti (“Eastenders“), Ray Panthaki, and Nitin Kundra (ITV’s “Steel River Blues”).
Many of the music crowd including uber-producer Rishy Rich were there last night and the week before at the Asian Awards. As were BBC London94.9FM presenters Sunny and Shay.
Some of these associations go back a long way.
Sure, there is a preponderance of these events and some are better than others and as with most of these high profile occasions, there is inevitably some politics.
Some groups of people go to one and not the other, while a small and quite elite cluster, as mentioned above, go to both.
Historically we have been quite close to the Asian Business Awards, and continue to have an input into the Asian Rich List, which is a great read (though we may be a bit biased!). Having been the editor of the paper (Eastern Eye) allied to this event and the “ARL” in previous years, there is an emotional pull.
Nevertheless, it is a great occasion and if you get the chance of attending, do take it!
Well done Asian and Media Marketing Group (AMG), the publishers of newspaper “Eastern Eye”, for hosting and organising such an event and making it one with the community can look at with a special sense of pride and satisfaction.
Sailesh Ram, editor of www.asianculturevulture.com
Winners of the Asian Business Awards 2014
ASIAN BUSINESSWOMAN AWARD IN ASSOCIATION WITH LLADRO
WINNER: Veena Nangla, Brightsun Travel
HEALTHCARE BUSINESS AWARD IN ASSOCIATION WITH BANK OF BARODA
WINNER: NSL Group
ENTREPRENUER AWARD IN ASSOCIATION WITH WAYMADE PLC
WINNER: Dr Ritchie Nanda, Global Chairman, The Shield Group (UK) & Topsgrup (India)
FOOD AND DRINK AWARD IN ASSOCIATION WITH SUNMARK
Winner: HT & Co (Drinks) Limited
YOUNG ENTREPRENUER AWARD IN ASSOCIATION WITH AUDEN MCKENZIE
WINNER: Inderneel Singh, Edwardian Group London
FRANCHISE BUSINESS AWARD ASSOCIATION WITH MTDC
WINNER: Karali Limited
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AWARD IN ASSOCIATION WITH ERNST & YOUNG
WINNER: Tata Group
BUSINESS PERSONALITY AWARD IN ASSOCIATION WITH BRISTOL LABORATORIES
Winner: Dr Rami Ranger, Chairman & Founder, Sun Mark Limited
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
WINNER: Sir Anwar Pervez OBE, Chairman, Bestway Cash & Carry
ASIAN BUSINESS OF THE YEAR IN ASSOCIATION WITH HSBC
Winner: Hinduja Group