West London

    Art Malik to host Ramadan Gala Dinners for charity committed to the free treatment of curable blindness and visual impairment in Pakistan

    The Graham Layton Trust (GLT), a charity committed to the free treatment of curable blindness and visual impairment in Pakistan, will be celebrating Ramadan this May with exclusive gala dinners in both London and Manchester hosted by international actor and GLT Trustee, Art Malik.

    The first dinner will be held at the Grand Sapphire Hotel in Croydon on May 5, and Manchester’s luxurious Vermilion will play host to GLT’s second dinner on May 12, with all proceeds going towards GLT.

    Actor and GLT Trustee, Art Malik, says: “The Graham Layton Trust is the largest provider of free eye-care in Pakistan and does life-changing work, so it’s an honour for me to host the charity’s two Ramadan dinners this May, as well as work as a Trustee. Alongside marking this sacred time, we will be celebrating the incredible impact that GLT has had in transforming the lives of over 37 million of Pakistan’s most needy people.”

    Since launching in 1985, GLT and its sister charity, Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust have worked to treat over 37 million cases of curable blindness and visual impairment by providing high quality free eye surgery and ophthalmic care for those who cannot afford it. In doing so, GLT has helped to restore dignity, independence and hope to some of Pakistan’s poorest and most marginalised people.

    GLT has developed a network of 19 hospitals, 56 clinics and outreach centres across Pakistan, enabling the treatment of people in urban centres and isolated rural areas, which have poor healthcare facilities. The charity also invests in teaching and training doctors and technicians in the latest eye-care treatments, as well as the latest technology and equipment to ensure patients receive the best clinical care.

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    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

    WINNER: ICICI Bank

    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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    Six people dead and many injured in Grenfell Tower blaze

    A huge fire broke out at a west London tower block during the early hours of Wednesday morning. As reports coming in six people have died and more than 50 are in hospital after a huge fire raged through the night at a west London tower block, a fire chief says.

    Eyewitnesses described people trapped in the burning Grenfell Tower, in north Kensington, screaming for help and yelling for their children to be saved.

    The 24-storey block, which is still believed to be on fire, looks at risk of collapsing.

    During the night, eyewitnesses said they saw lights - thought to be mobile phones or torches - flashing at the top of the block of flats, and trapped residents coming to their windows - some holding children.

    Image credit: Wilson Chowdry

    The Met Police has set up an emergency number on 0800 0961 233 for anyone concerned about friends or family.

    London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said there had been "a number of fatalities" but she could not say how many because of the "size and complexity" of the building.

    “In my 29 years of being a firefighter I have never seen anything of this scale. Based on the level of resources needed at this fire, we declared this a major incident very early this morning.” She said

    She urged all residents to make sure they had reported themselves to police so that the authorities know they are safe.

    The cause was not yet known and it was too early to speculate on the building, she said, although it was structurally safe enough for her crews to be working inside.

    By mid-morning, the building looked to be just smoking ruins but the fire has again taken hold, and cladding is falling to the ground.

    Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was devastated by the horrific scenes, attended by more than 250 firefighters and 100 ambulance medics.

    Questions will need to be answered over the safety of tower blocks, he told BBC Radio.

    "We can't have a situation where people's safety is put at risk because of bad advice being given or if it is the case, as has been alleged, of tower blocks not being properly serviced or maintained," he said.

    Matt Wrack, of the Fire Brigades Union said something had clearly gone badly wrong with fire prevention procedures at the building.

    Firefighters would normally fight a fire in a tower block from the inside, going up the fire escape, and fighting using the internal dry-rising mains, he said, but that's not been possible in this case.

    Image credit: Wilson Chowdry

    "Several hundred" people would have been in the block when the fire broke out, leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Nick Paget-Brown said.

    Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, Wilson Chowdhry travelled to the blaze to offer help and bottles of water to victims.

    He told Asian Standard: "When I got there the police cordons had not yet been fully implemented. I was able to reach victims and offer them water from the two crates that had been in my home.

    "People were crying in the streets they were all shocked and stunned. Those that spoke described very harrowing accounts of how people escaped the flats. Many told me that they had not heard any fire alarm.

    "People heard bangs and pops as the fire raged on. Most people learnt about the fire through kind but panicked neighbours who woke them up with vigorous knocking. One man told me the fire began from one of the lower levels but rapidly rose and engulfed the building.

    "Many people were still looking for friends and family it was a very disturbing place. This situation was exacerbated as people fleeing the blaze left their phones behind.

    "The fire just raged on and all of us were praying that the building would not collapse as it is in the midst of a densely populated area.”

    An emergency number has been set up by The Met Police Anyone concerned about their family and friends can call 0800 0961 233 for anyone concerned about friends or family.

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    The British Asian Trust partners with the British Pakistan Foundation to host Iftar dinner at the Savoy Hotel

    The British Asian Trust, founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, held a special Iftar Dinner at The Savoy Hotel in London on Tuesday 6 June in partnership with the British Pakistan Foundation. The event brought together influential leaders from diverse backgrounds including government, philanthropy, business, charity and the arts to celebrate the contributions that so many make to transforming lives and strengthening relations across the UK, Pakistan and beyond.

    The evening opened with Richard Hawkes, CEO, British Asian Trust paying tribute to the victims and families of the tragic attacks in London and Manchester, calling for people of all faiths and backgrounds to stand together in solidarity. The famous ‘spirit of Manchester’ inspired the sense of community and unity of the Iftar Dinner, which brought together people with a shared commitment to tackling poverty and injustice.

    The event saw the launch of The Trust’s Ramadan appeal to raise funds to expand its ground-breaking livelihoods and education work in Pakistan which is helping children access quality education and supporting families to find a route out of poverty. The Trust also talked about its exciting multi-million pound, three year Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development following a successful appeal last year. This programme will work with seven partners to support 12,000 women.

    His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales sent a special Ramadan message, read by Chairman of British Asian Trust, Manoj Badale, wishing supporters and friends of The Trust a very warm Ramadan Mubarak. The full transcript of his message can be found here:  https://goo.gl/xF7fC8

    Richard Hawkes said: “Ramadan is a remarkable time for showing strength and discipline, but also it is an incredible time for generosity and charitable giving. The kind donations that we receive enable us to secure a brighter future for Pakistan’s most vulnerable children and their families and empowering women to make a living and have control over their earnings.”

    Zahra Shah, CEO, British Pakistan Foundation said: “We are honoured to support the British Asian Trust and to join hands for the annual Iftar to bring together like-minded individuals from the community to help and assist those who need it most both here in the UK and in Pakistan.”

    Richard Hawkes, CEO, British Asian Trust

    Hosted by The Trust Ambassador and BBC presenter, Noreen Khan, the Iftar Dinner included a speech by guest of honour Right Honourable Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development.

    Other notable guests included His Excellency Syed Ibne Abbas, High Commissioner for Pakistan, award-winning music producer Naughty Boy, broadcaster Sonali Shah, and Sir Anwar Pervez OBE, Founder and Chair of Bestway Group UK.

    The British Asian Trust works across South Asia to eradicate inequality and injustice. In previous years, funds raised during Ramadan have supported important work in Pakistan by helping people with mental health issues, supporting children from the poorest communities get access to quality education and helping young entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds to start new businesses.

    The British Pakistan Foundation is a bi-partisan, secular, community building, non-profit platform founded in 2010 working towards engaging, uniting and empowering the community of over 1.2 million British Pakistanis in the UK, in particular the youth. Its key focus is on professional development and supporting entrepreneurship.

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    British Asian Trust partners with British Pakistan Foundation this Ramadan

    The British Asian Trust, a charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, is celebrating the start of Ramadan by partnering with the British Pakistan Foundation, forging an exciting new relationship that highlights each organisations’ shared commitment to transforming lives and strengthening relations between the UK and Pakistan, and beyond. The partnership will be officially launched at The Trust’s annual Celebratory Iftar Dinner, at London’s Savoy Hotel on Tuesday 6 June.

    The collaboration demonstrates the British Asian Trust’s goal to bring together people of all backgrounds to celebrate the charitable contributions that so many make to support important causes. The event is supported by the British Asian Trust UK Advisory Council members Zameer Choudrey, CEO Bestway and Haroon Sheikh, CEO Caretech, and will be attended by a range of NGOs, charities, philanthropists, business and community leaders, with The Right Honourable Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development as a key guest. Other confirmed guests include international music producer Naughty Boy and the event will be compered by national radio presenter Noreen Khan.

    Richard Hawkes, CEO British Asian Trust said: “We are delighted to partner with the British Pakistan Foundation and work with them to bring people together who share a commitment to empowering people to realise their full potential. It is the invaluable relationship we share with our supporters that allows us to back innovative, scalable and lasting solutions to the challenges of poverty.”

    The British Pakistan Foundation is a bi-partisan, secular, community building, non-profit platform founded in 2010 working towards engaging, uniting and empowering the community of over one million British Pakistanis in the UK, in particular the youth.

    Zahra Shah, CEO, British Pakistan Foundation said: “The British Pakistan Foundation is committed to empowering the British Pakistani community by focusing on professional development across industry sectors and career levels (since one in five British Pakistani is unemployed or under-employed) and supporting entrepreneurship. We are honoured to support the British Asian Trust and to join hands for the annual Iftar to bring together like-minded individuals from the community who need our help and assistance both here in the UK and in Pakistan.”

    The British Asian Trust works across South Asia to eradicate inequality and injustice. This year, the British Asian Trust’s work in Pakistan includes a new multi-million three year Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development. The programme will work with seven partners to support 12,000 women to learn the skills they need to make a living and have greater control over their earnings.

    In the past, funds raised during Ramadan have supported important work in Pakistan by helping children from the poorest communities access quality education and giving them the building blocks for a brighter future. Zakat donations have enabled young people to complete their education at sixth form level and obtain scholarships to Habib University. Families are also supported in multiple ways, including funding and mentoring for young entrepreneurs and equipping them with materials and opportunities to start news businesses.

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