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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    MONEY TALK: Misconceptions linked to pensions


    Over the last few years the government has done a fair amount to give low and middle income earners access to pensions. This is mostly through workplace pensions, but they have also made it far easier to get private pensions for those that are self employed. All employers will be required to provide staff members a work place pension by 2018. There is no exception, and if you contribute so does your employer.  Now the issue is that most employers have registered staff into work based pensions bar the smaller employer.

    So coming to the title the misconceptions that some people have relating to pensions are:

    When I die my pension dies with me –
    this is strictly not true because if you do die, you will have a pot of money, which can be transferred to your loved ones, or those that you chose. The government has relaxed the previous tax penalties that existed previously, so your pension will not die with you, and neither will it be taxed unless you have over a million in the pot.

    It is too difficult to set up –
    not anymore your employer has to set the pension up for you. In fact they have to actually auto enrol you, and then you need to choose if you want to keep the pension, or you want to come out of it. If you want a private pension for yourself, they are easy to set up, but if you want something a bit better with handpicked funds, and then be prepared to stump up a few hundred pounds as advice fees.

    My house is my pension –
    This is all well and good, but at retirement if you are going to sell to make ends meet, then where are you going to live. Your house also does not have any tax advantage i.e. a pension payment of £80.00 a month is actually a £100 as the government rewards for investing in a pension.

    The government will help me –
    The state pension is designed is minimal, and usually will not cover all your bills. I see many clients that are using savings, downsizing, or struggling significantly in retirement because they just have the state pension. Imagine paying all your bills, costs etc. on circa £150 per week. Could you live at the moment on circa £600 a month, and if the answer is no, then you know you need to do something.

    People have lost money in pensions –
    Yes this has happened, and there are several examples of companies that put simply have been unethical, however now there are many rules and regulators that ensure that this cannot happen. The key is not to be taken in, and always take advice before you make large decisions relating to large pension pots.

    I am too old –
    You are never too old to save in a pension, and with the new changes leading to liberation of pensions, saving for even a few years could mean you are far better off.

    I am too young –
    Ask an older person how soon years fly by. The younger you start the more time your monies have to grow i.e. £1000 today invested will have more time to grow than £1000 invested in 10 years, when you retire in 30 years.

    Overall, put simply we all need to invest into pensions because the state pension is self funding from our national insurance contributions. In this day and age we do not know how high the government may push the age of retirement. I know I am not prepared to work till 68 or 69; therefore the question is if you want options in retirement, then you need to save to retire early.

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    MONEY TALK: Your own business


    As someone who has started his own business I always find beginning something new a task on its own. This is because there are many pitfalls to starting one’s own business. At the moment I am helping a friend with a new business project, and it got me thinking what are the pitfalls/hurdles that he will need to consider.

    I guess the first point to make clear is that when someone starts their own business they are actually an employee to themselves. Potentially gone are the 37.5 hours a week with a salary no matter what. Gone are the perks of being an employee, and instead you are now the person who is effectively in charge of ensuring you have an income at the end of the week or month.

    So, setting up your own business – well the first thing to consider is that you now need to be a professional in all areas of running a business. In past roles/job, you were probably just in charge of one key role or skill set. As a businessman/woman you are in charge of everything. You might have to learn new skills such as accounting, marketing, strategic skills as well as networking to ensure that your business is a success.

    One of the key things I found out when working as a consultant for various businesses was that the most vulnerable businesses are those that are run by one person. This is because there is one person making the decisions, and let’s faces it no matter how good we might think we are, it is always a good idea to have another person’s input; therefore if this is your very first business perhaps it might be worthwhile to consider a partner.

    I would also point that if you are thinking of starting a business, then maybe it might be worthwhile to consider buying into an existing business. This is because in my view buying a business is far easier than starting a business from scratch. A start up business is far more expensive from a time based perspective. This is because it will require time from you to start the business, and in most cases will take several months before the business is running properly.

    The other thing I would also consider with reference to time is that when in business, please do not think it is a wage earner. I also encourage people to think of a business as a profit making machine, rather than a wage earner. A wage earning business person will more than likely be satisfied with a wage that they feel is adequate, and in my view will not push the business or themselves to ensure further profitability.

    I would encourage you to network with other businesses. There are many places where you can showcase what you do, and get your business the attention it deserves. I used to do a lot of networking in the past, and this worked well, but I realised that networking takes a lot of time before it pays off.

    Last point I want to make is that as a business person focus on all areas of the business, and do not get yourself into a muddle by focusing on just one thing in isolation. I would split the business into three or four different areas such as: marketing and product sales; administration and financial planning; and lastly business operation be it service or manufacturing related. You will need to keep all three areas of the business actively within your mindset to ensure that your business does not fall behind.

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    MONEY TALK: Accident, Sickness and Unemployment


    What is this? Well Accident, Sickness or Unemployment, are mini insurance policies designed to pay out a certain amount of cash on the event of a claim.

    The reason why I am writing about a boring subject such as insurance is that it is not so boring in the event that one makes a claim. This we all hope we do not do, but in the event that we need to, then we all hope that there is something there to protect us. Many of us think that our employers will do this, however this is becoming rare. Unless you work for the government, or in a large multinational organisation the chances are that you will only be paid statutory sick pay.

    I want to talk about these policies as I persuaded a friend of mine who has a long term disability to take one of these policies. He has had the policy for over 5 years and was paying about £20 a month for £1650 of benefit per month. His policy covered him for 12 months for accident and sickness.

    It was a few months ago that my friend got ill, and he had to stop working due to the illness. His employer although did pay some sick pay, but the circumstances were such that he resigned from employment to get better.

    Now if one resigns from employment it means no more income coming in and reliance on benefits. As my friend had this type of policy he claimed, which was far easier than I thought it would be. The insurer wanted medical confirmation, which his GP charged £30 for and set the claim immediately. After 30 days of claiming he received a bank transfer for £1650. Now this amount was far less than his salary, but his mortgage and necessary bills were paid.

    The policy paid out till he was better to go to work. I asked my friend what does he think about such policies and his view now is that paying in £20 a month for 5 years meant he could take time off to recover and not only did this aid recovery, but it helped in ensuring his savings were safe.

    Now with most types of insurances they undertake medical checks etc, to make sure you the customer are a good punt for the insurance provider and not likely to make a claim. With reference to Accident, sickness policies there is no medical underwriting; therefore in the event of a claim it does not matter what you had previously.

    I like these little plans because they are quite cheap, no medical underwriting means no matter what illness you had previously, you are likely to be eligible and therefore have valuable protection for your family.

    I have one of these policies myself due to underlying medical reasons; however I took the policy out because the provider I am with covers you if you have to become a carer for 12 months also. I felt it was valuable protection for a very small figure and something I needed.

    In this day and age when things are getting more expensive, jobs are harder to come by and with all the stress we all have on a daily basis, in my view something that makes life easier and pays the bills for 12 months in a row is definitely worth considering, when you may not be able to take out any other type of insurance due to underwriting issues.

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    Its finally happened – Article 50 has been triggered

    It has been some nine months since the results to the Brexit vote were announced, and the Prime Minister finally triggered Article 50. She said in the commons, “The Article 50 process is now underway... In accordance with the wishes of the people, the United Kingdom is leaving the EU...”

    Overall it is a sombre days for those that wish to remain in the UK, and those that want to leave. The truth is we do not know what to expect in the next two years; however at least we as a nation now know that Brexit will be a reality, and that we will be leaving on 29 March 2019. There is now no way to stop Brexit, and as the Prime Minister said, she was acting upon the democratic will of the people.

    With reference to markets I was expecting some turbulence in the markets, nevertheless surprisingly the markets behaved themselves, and the pound actually rose against the euro. I guess the markets were aware that it was for certain that Article 50 would be triggered; therefore the level of uncertainty within the markets was quite low. Now that the UK is leaving there is some certainty within the markets that Britain will leave the EU and a date has been set.

    I guess one of the things I agree with since last June is that the UK should no longer be defined by the vote we cast, but instead concentrate on being determined to being successful after leaving the EU. We decided to leave therefore now is not the time to moan or groan about the result as has been the case in the press/parliament over the last nine months, but instead the focus should now be on getting the best result for the UK.

    So what are the implications of Article 50 being triggered? Well the UK now has two years to formally leave the EU block. This is after membership of forty four years, which means there is a considerable amount of work to be done before the UK is formally out of the EU. I guess what is important to me as someone in the financial industry is that Britain remains the financial hub as it currently is in Europe.

    I also see quite a lot of benefits that the EU has brought to the UK, such as equality of pay, discrimination legislation etc. that has positively contributed to our society in the UK, which personally I would like to see remain, and hopefully improved upon.

    Although two years sounds like a long period of time, it appears it is going to be a slow and drawn out process that will take some months before it is likely that negotiations will start. In reality Article 50 has not been triggered by any nation before; therefore in reality there is no expectation of how the process will follow in the next two years.

    As a nation there are certain things that will be of more importance to us that need to be agreed beforehand. I agree with what the Prime Minister is trying to do by agreeing the divorce deal as well as future arrangements in parallel – within the period of two years. This I think is a sensible move on her part as it means we will be in a stronger negotiating position.

    I guess only time will tell if Article 50 will be a smooth transition for Britain and the EU, or whether matters become more entangled with fuelled tensions on both sides. As far as the EU is concerned EU leaders will meet on April 29 2017 at an extraordinary meeting to agree a specific mandate to begin talks in early May.

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