Asian Rich List unveiled at annual Asian Business Awards, showcasing enterprising spirit and success of the British Asian Community

    Asian entrepreneurship and business success were honoured on Friday 23 March at the Asian Business Awards, the annual gathering of the UK’s wealthiest and most successful Asian businessmen and women.

    The gala event, attended by Dinesh K Patnaik, Deputy High Commissioner, High Commission of India, saw him honour the outstanding business achievements across industries. Mr Patnaik paid tribute to the dedication and hard work of the business community and also unveiled the Asian Rich List 2018.

    The Asian Rich List which is published by Asian Media Group (AMG) shows the combined overall net worth of the featured 101 UK based millionaires has topped the £80.2 billion mark, (an increase of just under £11bn since last year), with the top 10 being valued at a total of £54.25 billion and representing 68 per cent of the total figure.

    For some, it may come as no surprise that the Hinduja family have secured their position once again at the top of the list, completing an amazing five-year run at the top, ahead of steel tycoon

    Zuber Issa of Euro Garages. Image: Edward Lloyd/Alpha Press

    Lakshmi Mittal.

    While economic growth in the western worldwide has been sluggish, the Hindujas have had a robust 2017, adding a further £3 billion to their total net worth, taking them to an astounding total net worth of £22 billion.

    The Hindujas trading empire is spread over five continents and run by four brothers and their children – a testament to their incredibly strong family values. The group has what GP Hinduja likes to call 10 ‘verticals’, spanning a variety of sectors and allowing true diversification.

    This year’s list sees a new entry in the Top 10, with a jump of an astonishing 25 places to number 9 and an increase in total net worth of £1bn to a valuation of £1.3bn, for brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa. Their Lancashire-based company Euro Garages has grown from incredibly modest beginnings, with one slightly worn petrol station in Blackburn in 2001, a loan of £150,000 and then almost on a whim, a decision to put a decent shop inside it. Since then, they have never looked back and have become not only one of the foremost UK companies, through their Euro Garages outfit, but one of Europe’s leading concerns in this sector - as EG Group.

    EG Group looks set to increase to more than 3,000 petrol stations across Europe - a new deal announced in January sees EG tying up with the Esso brand to increase their presence across the Benelux nations. The Group works with an incredible array of household brand names - from Greggs, Starbucks, and KFC to Carrefour (French supermarket giants), Louis Delhaize (a Belgian supermarket brand) through to oil majors, Shell, BP and Esso. It has brokered major deals with these retail concerns and global energy powerhouses, and is probably the no1 UK company doing this at home and abroad.

    This year’s list sees Rajesh Ram Satiija of Sun & Sand Group, Zuber and Mohsin Issa and Tony, Raj & Harpal Matharu of Global Grange Ltd all making it to billionaire status, taking the total number of Asian billionaires to 12.

    Rajesh Ram Satiija is the fifth highest riser in terms of net worth this year, with an increase of £390m. His mining to agriculture business spans three continents and comes in at £1.3bn. Satiija worked for an export business before starting out on his own, setting up an auto-parts business in Nigeria.  He has a home in Mayfair and is now looking at a public floatation for his fast expanding group, where revenues have tripled over the last few years.

    With the entry point for this year’s list being set at £90 million, it’s hard to expect any ‘young guns’ to earn their way on to the list. However, never to be outdone, this year’s youngest entry and a newcomer to the list is 36-year-old Nitin Passi, owner of one of hippest online fashion retailer ‘Missguided’. Valued at £100million and entering the list at number 90, Passi has broken into a hugely competitive, price sensitive and cluttered market, to create a household name amongst the 16-35-year-old demographic. Founded less than a decade ago, in March 2009, Missguided quickly grew from literally a one-man operation into an international online fashion giant. Keen to start his own company, Passi had the foresight to recognise that his future fortune would most likely be found online. That choice has since paid off immensely for Passi, with his company reporting sales in excess of £205m in 2017.

    This year’s list also sees eight new entries with a combined value of nearly £1 billion, with the highest new entry, being at number halfway up the

    Dawn Butler MP at the Asian Business Awards

    list at number 50! With a valuation of £200 million, Raj Manak of Akaal Ltd is surprisingly the only representative from the growing construction industry. Also entering the list for the first time is Leena Malde of Lotus Flower Holdings, one of three self-made women featured on the list, at number 97 and a valuation of £90 million.

    One underlying theme of the list is the power of family. From the Hindujas in poll position and throughout the list, we see second generation children taking up the mantle from their parents, as well as strong sibling ties with successful familial businesses proving that the tradition of joint families within the south Asian community is a force to be reckoned with.

    Shailesh Solanki, executive editor of AMG and one of a panel of four experts who has examined British Asian wealth over the last year for the Asian Rich List, said: "The list shows the remarkable strength and diversity of Asian businesses in the UK.  Despite the challenges of the general economy many business leaders in the community have seen opportunity and  potential and moved quickly to capitalise. It is an inspiring picture and one that should energise entrepreneurs everywhere.

    “What is doubly encouraging and reassuring to see is the high levels of philanthropy from the millionaires. Giving back to help the less fortunate is a cultural value and we are seeing foundations being launched and high levels of charitable donations to organisations both in their home countries and more importantly in the UK.”

    There can be no doubt that this is a community which has had a huge impact on the UK economy over the past fifty years, and attendance at the gala to honour these Asian entrepreneurs by country leaders, members of the cabinet and other top politicians is indicative of the both their financial and political impact.  The Asian Business Awards have been recognising outstanding business talent for the past 21 years and this year’s winners were no exception – all outstanding within their respective industries.

    Kalpesh Solanki, Group Managing Editor of AMG added: “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. The winners of the Asian Business Awards 2018 are just a handful of these amazingly dedicated, innovative and committed individuals.”

    The gala awards ceremony was attended by a host of dignitaries and peers including: Lord Tariq Ahmad, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations, Dawn Butler MP, Lord & Lady Dholakia, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Lord Patel of Bradford; actors Sheena Bhattessa, Jaz Deol, Rebecca Grant, Preeya Kalidas, Shobu Kapoor, Amrit Maghera, Parle Patel, Paul Sharma, Deepak Verma and Gordon Warnecke amongst a host of others.

    Winners of the Asian Business Awards this year were:

    Restaurant of the Year Award 2018 in association with Zee TV

    WINNER: Shamil Thakrar, Dishoom

    Food & Drink Business Award 2018 supported by Sun Mark Limited

    WINNER: Prakash Thakrar, HT Drinks & Co

    Care Home Business of the Year 2018 in association with Citibond & Qatar Airways

    WINNER: Avnish Goyal, Hallmark Care Homes

    Asian Business Bank of the Year 2018 in association with Eastern Eye


    Businesswoman of the Year Award 2018 in association with Premier by Brightsun

    WINNER: Zeenat Noon Harnal, Bombay Halwa

    Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 in association with SBI

    WINNER: Shane Thakrar, HKS Holdings

    Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 supported by Edwardian Group London

    WINNER: Sanjay Vadera, The Frangrance Shop 

    Philanthropy Award 2018 in association with SME

    WINNER: Dawood Pervez, Bestway Foundation

    Business Personality of the Year 2018 supported by Bristol Laboratories

    WINNER: Joginder Sangar, Mastcraft Group of Companies

    Asian Business of the Year 2018 in association with Eastern Eye

    WINNER: Zuber & Mohsin Issa, Euro Garages Ltd

    The Asian Rich List was released on 23 March 2018 and is the definitive guide to ultra-high net worth individuals and Asian business success.

    • This year’s Top 10 wealthiest Asians are:


    Position    Name                                         2018 Valuation            2017 Valuation

    1                GP and SP Hinduja                            £ 22 billion                   £ 19 billion

    2                Lakshmi Mittal                                     £ 14 billion                   £ 12.6 billion

    3                Sir Prakash Lohia                               £ 5.1 billion                  £ 4 billion

    4                Sir Anwar Pervez                                £ 2.35 billion                £ 2 billion

    5                Simon, Bobby & Robin Arora             £ 2.3 billion                  £ 2.2 billion

    5                Anil Agarwal                                        £ 2.3 billion                  £ 2.2 billion

    7                Cyrus & Priya Vandrevala                  £ 2.1 billion                  £ 2.1 billion

    8                Jasminder Singh                                 £ 1.5 billion                  £ 1.5 billion

    9                Rajesh Ram Satiija                             £ 1.3 billion                  £ 910 million

    9                Zuber & Mohsin Issa                           £ 1.3 billion                  £ 300 million


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    Derby family plan college for Pakistan orphans in memory of their murdered daughter


    Almost ten years ago after the devastating death of their dear daughter; the devoted parents, family and friends of Halimah Ahmed, set up the Halimah Trust, a non-profit-making organisation which built a school in Pakistan. In 2008, the Trust opened the Halimah School of Excellence in Wazirabad, in the Punjab, 100km from Lahore, for orphaned girls and vulnerable women.  But as the school grows, more and more women are excelling in their studies and are ready for further education and university.  The land for the school was kindly donated by a local farmer. There is still enough land for a college building, the cost of which is £347,000.

    Halimah school 1-desk
    Orphans at the Halimah School of Excellence in Pakistan.

    Halimah’s mother, Dr Zareen Roohi Ahmed from Derby, told the Asian Standard: “The school takes in orphan girls aged 3 and 4, all the way up to 18. Many were orphaned from the Kashmir earthquake of 2005. Our promise to them is that we will be there for them as long as they need us. We would pay for their wedding if need be.”

    The school has been a great success but now space for all the pupils is running out fast in the current building, so the organisers want to expand. Zareen Ahmed said: “Now orphans from all areas of Pakistan want to go to the school.” She added: "to maintain the excellent standard of education and progress for these young women, we need to build a college next to the school. We first opened the school in 2011, but the girls are now at an age where they need to do further education.”

    Zareen Ahmed has been amazed at how the young orphans have seized upon the opportunity to gain a good education: “They are ambitious, they want to be doctors, lawyers, leaders”, she said “and these are just girls from poor homes.”

    On such pupil is 16-year-old Rabia Nisar. She is studying pre-engineering subjects at The Halimah School of Excellence. She declared: “when I am a successful engineer, I will then donate to this school to help other girls like me."

    Dr Zareen Roohi Ahmed, mother of Halimah Ahmed.
    Dr Zareen Roohi Ahmed, mother of Halimah Ahmed.

    The desire to help teenage orphans into further education sadly coincides with the same age Halimah was when she died.

    19-year-old Halimah had only attended university for six weeks when she was killed.  She planned to work for an international charity after graduation. Her mother said: “Our daughter loved Pakistan. All she wanted to do was charitable work around the world”.

    The teenager was murdered by failed asylum-seeker Khalid Peshawan in November 2007, who then killed himself. Subsequent investigations uncovered that orders to section mentally-ill Khalid Peshawan and not been acted upon. He was receiving mental health treatment for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Zareen Ahmed said of her daughter’s killer: “The system failed him. His state of mind was a direct result of the war in Iraq. He’d been arrested repeatedly and had told authorities he was afraid he’d harm someone. We think our kids are safe, but they are some people with serious mental health issues on the streets.”

    She is highly critical of cuts in money for mental health patients, and told the Asian Standard: “because of the many cuts mental health workers cannot handle their caseloads.”

    Artistic impression of the proposed plan for the new college.
    Artistic impression of the proposed plan for the new college.

    Zareen Ahmed is extremely thankful for the support of the people of Derby, from people of all faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds with over three quarters of donations from non-Muslims. The largest donation so far was from Bulgarian entrepreneur Dr Rujua Ignatova who donated 50,000 Euros (£38,000) for the new college.  Zareen Ahmed has also praised the kindness of local people: "When we set out to build the Halimah School of Excellence back in 2008, we were overwhelmed by the generosity and compassion the people of Derby showed us.”

    A fundraising gala dinner will be held on Sunday, May 14 2017 at the Anoki restaurant on London Road, Derby. Restaurant owner Naveed Khaliq has generously donated the venue and food free of charge.

    To donate to The Halimah School of Excellence visit www.halimahtrust.org.uk

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    Tributes pour in as dead body of missing businessman found in the boot of his own car in Birmingham.

    Music shop owner, Tanveer Iqbal had been missing since Sunday evening after closing his shop, Hi-Tech Music in Birmingham.

    Businessman Tanveer Iqbal of Hi-Tech Music found dead in boot of his car.
    Businessman Tanveer Iqbal of Hi-Tech Music found dead in boot of his car.

    Following urgent police enquiries, the 33-year-old was found dead on Monday afternoon in the boot of his Renault Clio.

    The car was parked on a residential road in Edgbaston, less than a mile away from Mr Iqbal’s shop.

    His death is being treated as suspicious but West Midlands Police have not announced a cause.

    Detective Inspector Paul Joyce is leading the investigation, said: “We’re working around the clock to try and piece together events leading up to this man’s death.

    “If anyone has any information which they think may assist me with this investigation, I would urge them to get in touch as soon as they can.

    “I am particularly keen to speak to any witnesses who may have seen Mr Iqbal between closing his shop in Smethwick on Sunday night and the time he was discovered at lunchtime on Monday.”

    Portland Road remained closed as forensic examinations continued today and the vehicle has been removed from the scene.

    Mr Iqbal’s family is being supported by specially trained officers and a post-mortem was due to take place this afternoon.

    Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111. 



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