I t was a gloomy and rainy Friday, the 16th of September. But nobody could wet the spirit of the 800+ guests who gathered at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane London, to celebrate the glamorous 16th Asian Achievers Awards. Celebrities and guests walked down the red carpet, as ushers in fancy attires waited to welcome everybody in.
The success of the night was underlined by the incredible £180,000 raised for charity partner Indian Ocean Disaster Relief, which was founded in early 2005 following the devastating tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. In its 16 year, the Asian Achievers Awards has helped raise millions of pounds for various charities that it has supported.
Winners of the awards included, Selva Pankaj, CEO Regent Group, a London-based education skills and training development group ; Manjit Gill, CEO Binti, who runs a social enterprise that works tirelessly for women's causes in India and Africa; Paralympian, Ryan Raghoo, a long jumper who suffers from cerebral palsy; and Lord Naren Patel KT who was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The winners were selected by a panel of judges, and nominated by the readers of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samamchar. The panel included prominent names like Nishma Robb, Head of Commercial Marketing, Google UK, San Guanapala, Audit Partner, EY, Govind Shahi, Business Head at IndiaCast- IndiaCast Media, Shaliesh Vara MP, Co-Chair of Conservative Friends of India, Vana Koutsomitis, Co-Founder of DatePlay and Apprentice Runner-up, Ronnie Irani, Former England cricketer and Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange Plc and Director of International Development
CB Patel, Publisher/Editor, ABPL Group says: “I would like to send wholehearted congratulations to all the winners of the Asian Achievers Awards, now in our 16th year. As in years gone by, the winners are exemplary individuals who not only have excelled in their chosen professions, but are incredible role models who work for social justice, equality and those less fortunate.
“It makes me very proud to give these people a platform to be recognised for their hard work and remarkable contributions to society and the community. I am also very overwhelmed with the generosity of our guests who helped to raise £180,000 for our charity partner and I want to thank everyone who donated and bid at the auction.”
The evening was once again hosted by Eastenders star Nitin Ganatra,who was joined by glamorous Editor of Cosmopolitan UK, Farrah Storr. Over 650 guests, including business tycoons, entrepreneurs, members of parliament and the uniformed services, attended the 16th Asian Achievers Awards. Celebrity guests included cricketing legend and former England captain Mike Gatting, Pakistani film star Armeena Khan, former X-Factor contestant Monica Michael and MOBO Awards Founder, Kanya King MBE. Other guests included businessmen GP Hinduja, Dr Kartar Lalvani, Rami Ranger CBE, Bhanu Choudhrie and Parliamentarians Lord Dolar Popat, Lord Raj Loomba, Seema Malhotra MP, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, to name a few.
Speakers included George, COO, ABPL Group, CB Patel, Publisher/Editor, ABPL Group, Sanjay Bandari, Partner, EY, Tony Matharu, on behalf of the charity IODR, Rovin, Head of Marketing and Sales, ABPL Group.
Thanking host CB Patel and acknowledging the presence the VIPs (like former England cricket captain Mike Gatting and former Indian wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer) for turning up at the event and showing support for the cause, Indian Ocean Disaster Relief Chairman and founder Tony Matharu said: “There are a lot of disaster-hit people who need help. I ask for help - whatever you can do. All the money raised today will be used to rehabilitate the disaster-affected children and other beneficiaries. A lot of these vulnerable children are trafficked and go astray if we don't look after them. We want to prevent that. It's difficult to imagine with our mind's eye the scale of disaster and the aftermath - whether it's the earthquake in Kashmir or the tsunami is Sri Lanka. What we aim to do with the money raised is to build a rehabilitation centre and school for educating these children. We need to give them a second chance in life.”
Entertainment was provided by Tumbellina (duo hoop act), Epika Dance group, Kishan Amin, Jayden and a fashion show was put together by Sulochana Monga from Soltee. The charity auction was presented by former Rugby player Peter Scrivener, CEO, KLAS International.
Leading ethnic media outlets Sunrise Radio and Colors TV were media partners. The Asian Achievers Awards were launched in 2000 by London-based newsweeklies Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, which are now in their 45th year and have a significant readership within the UK's Asian community.