Winners of the Asian Achievers Awards in 2015

  • Achievement in Media, Arts and Culture

    Romesh Gunesekera was born in Sri Lanka and moved to Britain in 1971. He is the author of eight highly acclaimed books. His novel Reef was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1994. His writing has won many awards and is studied at universities and schools around the world. His most recent work of fiction Noontide Toll, exploring the dilemmas of post-war Sri Lanka, was short-listed for the 2015 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the Gordon Burn prize for innovative writing. It was also chosen for Georgetown University’s prestigious Marino Workshop this year. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the 2015 chair of judges for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.


  • Achievement in Community Service

    Jasvinder Sanghera CBE , is an outspoken campaigner and advocate for the rights of those experiencing forced marriages and honour based abuse. She is the founder of Karma Nirvana, established in her front room, in 1993. Karma Nirvana is now a national and international charity that has been instrumental in developing several refuge centres across the United Kingdom. The efforts of Sanghera and Karma Nirvana helped the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act outlawing the forced marriage to receive its Royal Assent on March 13 2014. Jasvinder was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and has been listed as one of the Guardian's 100 most Inspirational Women in the World.


  • Sport Personality of the year

    Moeen Ali is a left-handed batsman who also bowls useful off-spin. Moeen was ear- marked for future England honours after representing the Lions and Under-19 sides, and has been touted as a future Worcestershire captain. Moeen started his career with Warwickshire before and moved in 2007, swiftly establishing himself by scoring 77 on his county debut for Worcestershire. Moeen was leading the England under-19s’ team to the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup in Pakistan. During his debut against Sri Lanka at Lords in 2014, he was targeted by a handful of journalists for sporting a beard for religious reasons. However, he took that in his stride and did not let the negativity affect him.


  • Professional of the year

    Satvir Bungar ’s career, he has acted as corporate adviser to various Boards and completed many high profile UK and cross-border merger and acquisition transactions up to £100 million. Satvir works with both listed and private or venture capital backed companies and has materially transformed businesses and enhanced the personal wealth of its shareholders. He supports BDO’s national strategy as he is National Sector Head of Facilities Management and also directs BDO’s day-to-day operations in the Birmingham team.
    Satvir enjoys working with his entrepreneurial and client base and advising successful, driven directors on what are often life-changing transactions. He has a reputation for straight, objective advice combined with a focus on getting the right deal done for his clients and this is reflected in his longstanding clients and transaction awards won.


  • Woman of the year

    Bindi Karia is incredibly passionate about all things startup in Europe and connecting the dots between Investors, Founders and Corporates.
    Bindi has worked in and around technology startups for most of her career. As a consultant (PwC Consulting) , as a corporate (Microsoft Ventures), as an employee (Trayport), as an advisor (Startup Europe, Startup Weekend Europe, Tech London Advocates) , as a connector (GQ and Evening Standard have recognised this) and until recently, and as their Banker (Silicon Valley Bank). The entrepreneurs have influenced her so greatly over the years, that she's now left, and is currently in the process of setting up her next venture.


  • Entrepreneur of the year

    Nish and Sach Kukadia 2007, then aged just 23 and 25, having identified an opportunity in the UK retail marketing for an online shopping concept that would benefit both consumers and brands alike. With the backing of family and friends and a large helping of entrepreneurial spirit, Nish set to work on the company’s infrastructure while Sach built their partner portfolio, which now includes over 1600 brands. Over the last 8 years, SECRETSALES.com has become the UK’s number one ‘Flash Sales’ shopping site, offering brands and other retailers a discreet and controlled, ‘members only’ environment to sell unwanted stock. Members benefit from discounts of up to 70% on hundreds of designer brands and household-name products.


  • Business Person of the year

    Iqbal Ahmed OBE was born in Sylhet in Bangladesh, in 1956, and moved to the UK in 1971 with parents. Iqbal has overseen a business whose turnover has grown from £32m in 1998, to £65m in 2013, while maintaining an export level in excess of 70%. Iqbal saw the opportunities arising from the growth in international trade and began to export in 1991. Exporting proved such a success that by 1996 the business, now called Seamark, had export sales in excess of 80% of its turnover. His commitment to the East Manchester area was further demonstrated with the building of a purpose built Head Office complex, cold store, cash and carry in 2006.


  • Uniformed and Civil Service

    Lance Corporal Tuljung Gurung of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, was presented with the Military Cross by HRH The Prince of Wales, in 2014. He was awarded the MC for his bravery when he took on an Afghan insurgent in hand-to-hand combat. Acting L/Cpl Gurung’s citation said he had displayed the ‘highest levels of gallantry and courage’. His actions were exemplary for a Private soldier. In the face of the insurgent, Gurung’s valour and decisive action was out of all proportion to that expected of such a junior rank and deserve recognition of the highest order. Lance Corporal Gurung has won one of 117 awards for gallantry and meritorious service included in Operational Honours and Awards List 41.


  • Lifetime Achievement Award

    Lord Rumi Verjee is a highly successful entrepreneur. He is the Proprietor and Chairman of Thomas Goode & Co, a tableware emporium based in Mayfair, London. Verjee is the fourth generation Indian born in Uganda. After the expatriation of the Asian population from Uganda, he made UK his home. He founded Domino’s Pizza in the UK when he was just 28. Domino's Pizza grew fast in the UK, but he went on to sell his interest in 1989 and moved on to different businesses.
    Verjee is a Member of the World Presidents' Organization, the Advisory Board of the British Olympic Association and the Global Leadership Foundation and in 2009 was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for charitable services. Furthermore, in 2013, he was appointed to the House of Lords by Queen Elizabeth II, as a Liberal Democrat Peer where he sits as Lord Verjee of Portobello in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on the Business Advisory Committee. Having always shared his success and knowledge through philanthropic work, Rumi founded The Rumi Foundation in 2006. The initiatives it supports are diverse, but all share the same goal of humanitarian work through education, innovation and knowledge building.


  • Editor's Award : Financial Services Company of the year

    Tahir Akbar  Beaufort Securities is a diverse financial services company, established nearly a quarter of a century ago with offices in London, Bristol and North Wales. It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is a member of the London Stock Exchange. It offers traditional stockbroking services alongside wealth management and discretionary fund management, using the latest technology to enhance the experience it provides to its clients.
    Beaufort has access to global markets enabling it to offer a wide selection of products and services, using modern investment management instruments and practices. The company offers its clients a full range of tax efficient products and wrappers such as SIPPs, ISAs and the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).
    Beaufort’s award-winning team of skilled and highly experienced professionals deliver investment strategies best suited to achieving their clients’ investment objectives. They operate in a friendly, transparent and cost effective manner focussed on achieving results.


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