Following a record 6,200 nominations, 18 of the most prominent figures in Southern England’s Asian community have been short listed for this year’s Lloyds TSB Southern Jewel Awards, which takes place at the London Hilton, Park Lane on 15th September 2007.

Now in its fifth year, the event will celebrate the continued achievements of British Asians, bolstering the Southern region’s reputation as a hub of Asian talent. With an estimated 200,000 Asian firms in the UK, the annual turnover of London based Asian owned businesses alone is valued at over £60billion. Asian companies continue to be the fastest growing business sector in the UK, generating wealth at a rate three times the national average[1]. 

Truett Tate, Group Executive Director, Wholesale & International Banking, Lloyds TSB, said: “Asian owned businesses are going from strength to strength and the shortlist for this year’s Lloyds TSB Jewel Awards highlights the incredible wealth of British Asian talent that is making a mark on the country. Through these awards we’re celebrating the achievements of the Asian community across the public and private sector.”


Lloyds TSB’s sponsorship of the Jewel Awards is just one aspect of the bank’s continuing involvement with the UK’s fast growing Asian population, as an employer and a financial services provider. The Group has also developed a range of products and services catering for the community’s unique financial needs. These include a range of Islamic banking services – and a tie up with India’s second largest bank, ICICI Bank, to provide customers with free money transfers between the UK and India, as well as Rupee mortgages[2] for Indian property purchases.


Truett Tate, Group Executive Director, Wholesale & International Banking, Lloyds TSB added:Lloyds TSB has established itself as a bank that is dedicated to serving Britain’s increasingly diverse population – our Islamic financial products and our India Banking Service being just two examples of initiatives we have launched to meet these changing needs.”


Seven Jewel awards will be announced at the event for Business & Commerce Excellence, Entrepreneur Excellence, Healthcare & Education Excellence, Professional Excellence, Public Service Excellence, Retail Food & Franchise Excellence, and the coveted Lifetime Achievement Jewel Award. Each nomination has been profiled and vetted to form an elite shortlist. This year’s shortlist includes:


The Business & Commerce Excellence Jewel Award:


Imraan Ladak of DRC Locums acquired a 33% stake in the company when it was a small business supplying temporary and permanent staffing solutions to the NHS and private sector. Since then annual turnover has grown from £800,000 to in excess of £24m, becoming the second largest supplier of Locum Doctors in the UK and catapulting him into the Times Young Rich List alongside Christiano Ronaldo and Ricky Hatton. Imraan has also founded Locumlinx and IDR Marketing, which exceeded £5m in turnover within two years of incorporation. Imraan bought Kettering Town FC in 2005 – appointing Paul Gascoigne as manager – before turning the club professional for the first time in its 133-year history. He also established a youth academy and the club plays a role in raising money for charity and promoting opportunities in professional football for Asians.


Sarwesh Nanda of Nanda Group Ltd arrived in the UK in the 1970s with only £300. After four days he obtained his first job as a quality controller in Kodak and later went on to buy a post office, a fish and chip shop, Indian restaurant, fried chicken shop and a travel agency. Sarwesh started in the property investment business in 1986, buying a dilapidated shop with residential upper floors from which he developed 76 studio flats, 17 retail units, 41 one and two bed flats and office space.


Sumir Karayi, CEO, 1E came to London with his parents from the foothills of the Indian Himalayas in 1970. He and studied for a BSc in Electrical Engineering at Warwick University and then a Masters degree in IT. Following a work placement at STC (part of Nortel Telecoms), Sumir moved into roles within Learning Information, the BBC, Reuters, Lombard Bank and Microsoft. He co-founded 1E with 2 Microsoft colleagues in 1998 and the company has since grown to employ 85 people in the UK and US. As CEO, Sumir has married his interest in IT and the protection of the environment to develop NightWatchman, the UK’s first PC power management solution that centrally shuts down PCs overnight.


The Entrepreneur Excellence Jewel Award:

Mr Harjit Singh and Miss Superna Sethi founded Manhattan Properties in 1994, buying a two bedroom flat in Kenton for £30,000. Within six weeks they had managed to redecorate, sell, and make a profit from the apartment.  Between 1996 and 1999 Manhattan Properties went on to purchase and develop over 50% of the auction stock within the West London area. Looking  for further challenges, they decided to explore the Central London market and over the last 13 years have built an impressive portfolio of properties with their niche clearly being the “high end” market, offering bespoke properties for the elite, rich and famous. In 2003 they achieved over £1,000 per square foot in an apartment block in Mayfair and are presently accomplishing up to £2,000 per square foot.


Suresh Kumar, Director – Indra Travel combines winning entrepreneurial spirit with a humanitarian side committed to serving the community. Born in Ilford, Essex, Suresh left school at 16 and proceeded to set up Kumar Group of Companies. Now a multiple establishment, the company employs over 30 staff, and accrues a turnover in excess of £10m. Suresh joined the arena of politics in 1997, becoming the first Asian Chairman of Ilford South Conservative Party. The following year, he established the RCA Pride of Britain Awards in Redbridge, acknowledging deserving local citizens who make a valued contribution to the community. In 2001, Suresh triumphed over 100 other applicants to become the first ever Asian to be selected by the Conservative Party to stand for his hometown seat of Ilford South.


Runu Miah of Runu & Co Group Ltd originally worked for Charles Saatchi as his accountant but in 2003 he decided to leave to start his own business with his brothers and their father. The business operated as an estate agent, providing financial services and has expanded to East London with two offices. In May 2007 the Miah brothers also started their own catering company, with an aim to enter into the events and wedding services market.



The Healthcare & Education Excellence Jewel Award:

Dr Pampa Sarkar, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Wexham Park Hospital is passionately devoted to the science of fetal medicine and as a clinician she has expanded the fetal medicine service at Wexham Park Hospital and introduced detailed fetal assessment and prenatal diagnosis by chorionic villus sampling. As a researcher, she is involved in the effect of prenatal stress on the fetus and on its development and is researching into the possible mechanisms of stress transfer and the role of the placenta.


Saheena Saeed is a qualified accountant and mother of three, who left the corporate world 5 years ago to set up nursing and children’s homes and today employs around 120 people. The nursing homes specialise in providing care for the elderly with dementia and other mental disabilities and the children’s homes provide a nurturing environment based on therapeutic principles for children living in London whose families are unable to care for them. Her philosophy is to provide individually tailored care packages and in order to achieve this she has employed some of the country’s leading therapists who support the holistic approach to healing the child.


Vijay Kakkar, Emeritus Professor of the University of London is the Founder-Director of the Thrombosis Research Institute in London and Founder Chairman of the Thrombosis Research Institute, Bangalore. He has been the recipient of a number of distinctions and awards including a Hunterian Professorship from the Royal College of Surgeons, The Gunnar Bayer Memorial Lecture, the David Patey prize of the Surgical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He had been a visiting Professor of Harvard University and received a Lifetime achievement award from the International Union of Angiology for outstanding leadership in the investigation of thrombotic disorders. He was Founder President of the British Society of Haemostasis and Thrombosis and Founder President of the South Asian Society of Atheroscerlosis and Thrombosis. His publications include over 650 original articles, 6 books and contributions to 44 texts.


The Professional Excellence Jewel Award:

Rakesh Dua, Managing Partner of Dua and Company puts the fun into accountancy through his dynamic and charismatic personality. The business was founded in 1990 with one client who needed help with his tax return and today Dua and Company is one of the fastest-growing practices in Middlesex, with more than 400 clients ranging from small start-ups to million pound turnovers. Rakesh has bought and sold a number of businesses and is working on his latest start-up in the logistics market using the leading edge technology he loves.


Hamid Yunis, is a senior partner in the Finance & Projects team of the international law firm of Taylor Wessing. Based in their City office, Hamid leads the Healthcare Infrastructure and Services Practice, which specialises in complex and innovative transactions in this sector. Hamid over the last few years has become one of the world’s leading lawyers in the fast developing Islamic Finance industry and has acted on some of the largest deals completed in this area globally. He also advises the Islamic Financial Services Board, the industry’s leading standard setting body.


Ritu Sethi, Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England qualified in 1990 and went on to start her own practice, The Sethi Partnership Solicitors in 1994. In 1998, she became Director of Sethi Solicitors Property Centre, the first practice of its kind in the area to offer the services of solicitors, estate agents and financial services under one roof. Also in 1998, a third office opened specialising in Immigration Law. Ritu is a motivational public speaker and was selected as a ‘Woman of the Year 2006’ in recognition of her individual achievements and inspiring and mentoring women to start up their own business. She also sat on the panel of London Asian Advisory Group advising the London Mayor’s Office on issues affecting businesses in London.


The Public Service Excellence Jewel Award:

Fawzia Yusuf Adam, Founder and Director of RAAD International, has over two decades of proven international experience in the fields of education, social development, international relations, diplomacy, management, public relations, research, business as well as humanitarian and relief effort for refugees and victims of war in the Horn of Africa. She has represented the government of Somalia in Europe, the former USSR, USA and in the UN. She is a member of President Clinton’s Foundation Global Initiative and a winner of the award given by the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children and the International Rescue Committee. She has written two books and several technical papers on gender and women’s empowerment issues.


From humble beginnings as the son of an Indian immigrant family living in a single room in London, Raj Patel MBE, Director of Policy for Make Your Mark Campaign, inspires young people about enterprise to help create a new generation of entrepreneurs. Raj has been a champion on economic development and community regeneration for many years and he recently produced the first major report on enterprise culture in the UKThe Enterprise Report 2005: Making Ideas Happen.  His previous role was Head of Research and Development at the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. He is a Governor at London Metropolitan University and an editorial board member of the Local Economy Journal.


Raj Joshi, Director of Legal Practice and Quality Assurance Crown Prosecution Service, has become one of the UK’s foremost Asian lawyers and a champion of equality and justice. From funding his way through university and his barrister apprenticeship, to reaching Director level, he has become the highest ranking civil

servant from a BME background in the CPS. As early as 1983, he argued for the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law, presaging the Government by 16 years. Raj helped formulate and implement CPS policy, including looking at prosecution decisions for possible bias against BME communities. As head of the CPS European and International Division he developed policy on extradition issues, the European Arrest Warrant and the International Criminal Court.


Retail Food & Franchise Excellence Jewel Award:

Mr Adi Modi, Senior Vice President & Director of Taj International Hotels was handpicked by the parent company to open The Bombay Brasserie. His attention to detail and commitment to good service have been the cornerstones of the restaurant’s success, while his hands on approach has seen 39 staff (out of a total of 51) remain with him for 15 years or more. Mr Modi has also been behind the development of the Bombay Brasserie as a brand: the restaurant’s chutney is now available in Harrods and at the Bombay Brasserie and it caters exclusively to Jet Airways on all its routes to India. After several years as General Manager, Mr Modi is now Senior Vice President & Director of Taj International Hotels.


Asif Rangoonwala, Founder of Eurobuns Limited, is a successful business entrepreneur, who has a diverse array of interests spanning a range of sectors including food, property and sport. He is also the founder of UK-based Eurobuns Limited, a hugely successful venture in the industrial baking sector. He is also active in a number of prestigious organisations within the UK and abroad – these include being a fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Trustee of the Whitefield Development Trust, Vice Chairman of Indus Entrepreneurs UK and Chairman of the World Memon Foundation.


Dipna Anand, Indian Cookery Guru is on the brink of creating the next wave of Indian food as the number one healthy option. Dipna, 23, has created a complete menu of delicious low-fat recipes for her father’s award-winning restaurant. Her A-Level Food Technology project on low-fat Indian cookery earned her top marks and won an award from the British Nutrition Foundation as the best project in the country. Combining her experience of running the restaurant with her academic studies in Food Technology, Dipna is creating a recipe book with the best of Indian cuisine low-fat alternative dishes. She is set to be the woman to transform the perception of Indian food as going hand-in-hand with healthy food.

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