The winners were chosen from thousands of nominations from across the region, spanning business, education, politics and the charity sector. The panel of judges for the event faced a tough challenge selecting the final winners from this high calibre selection of nominees.
Eight coveted Lloyds TSB Jewel Awards were announced on the night for Business & Commerce Excellence, Entrepreneur Excellence, Healthcare & Education Excellence, Professional Excellence, Public Service Excellence, Retail Food & Franchise Excellence, and a new award launched this year for the Future Leaders, as well as the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Jewel Award. This year’s winners are:
The Business & Commerce Excellence Jewel Award: Khalid, Tahir, Zahid and Shahid Sheikh, Clifton Packaging
Almost 27 years ago, award-winning brothers Khalid, Tahir, Zahid and Shahid Sheikh used the £500 lining their pockets to start their own business, Clifton Packaging. Today the company provides packaging solutions for some of the largest companies in the world, employing over 65 people. Based on a five and a half acre site in Meridian Business Park, Leicester, Clifton is now a premier business with a multi-million pound turnover. Khalid Sheikh, Chairman of the company, recalls the days when he first set foot in the country, saying: “Similar to many Ugandan Asians, we came here with nothing. We worked hard and grafted to get to the position we are in today”. Finding packaging solutions and ensuring prompt delivery are pre-requisites for survival and Clifton’s position has been planted firmly at the top of the tree in a fiercely competitive sector. Clifton’s contribution to the industry has been so significant that it has scooped top industry awards, with its clientele list now reading like a “who’s who” of the business world.
The Entrepreneur Excellence Jewel Award: Khalid Hussain, Pak Supermarkets
In the face of rising competition from retail majors such as Tesco and Sainsbury who continue to stifle the growth of independent retail outlets in the UK, award-winning Birmingham resident Khalid Hussain, the mastermind behind one of the UK’s largest Ethnic retail food stores – Pak Supermarkets – continues to maintain his competitive edge.
Born in Pakistan, Hussain came to the UK when he was four years old and joined the family’s food store business after leaving school. His ambition and hard work have enabled him to develop the business into the Pak Supermarket brand. Integral to this growth was a strategic shift in the way the business was traditionally managed and run. Hussain looked at ways in which he could increase the shopping experience of his customers and began a full renovation by introducing his own brands to compete with main food multiples in price, and by improving the physical appearance of the store.
The next expansion was onto the busy Alum Rock Road, where the family bought and converted a rundown former indoor market into a major food store. Here Hussain was able to work in partnership with key suppliers such as East End Foods to deliver major marketing, promotion and sponsorship activity resulting in the “Pak Brand” catapulting to new heights. A further five stores were launched, including a privately financed, award winning self-designed supermarket at a disused bus depot site in Washwood Heath Road. This superstore is built on 80,000 sq ft and has a unique basket of features which includes a bakery, restaurant, food tasting court and a wide range of Asian and ethnic produce, all under one mammoth roof. The development has created over 100 jobs with an investment of over £75million.
The new Pak Supermarket is the largest ethnic retail food store in the UK and also the first Asian Supermarket to introduce an online shopping site offering a home delivery service. Its turnover is expected to reach approximately £21 million.
The Healthcare & Education Excellence Jewel Award: Rishma Dattani, University of Wolverhampton
A formidable woman who places education and cultural heritage firmly at the foundation of her identity, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programmes, Wolverhampton University, Rishma Dattani, has successfully balanced traditional Indian family life with her professional commitment to nurturing the young. Rishma joined the University of Wolverhampton as a Lecturer in Economics in 1989 and has successfully ascended the career ladder with the support of her family and husband. In 2005 she was appointed Associate Dean in the Business School which, at the time, made her one of the youngest. She is also the only Asian woman to hold a senior position within the university.
Rishma feels humbled to be a part of the process whereby young adults enter university and progress through their degree courses, gaining confidence and maturity along their journey towards graduation. Rishma prides herself on the work she does, an ethos she recognises as embedded within Asian culture. With research interests lying in the area of corporate social responsibility, in particular focusing on Asian SMEs in the UK, her dream is to one day undertake a PhD in this specialist area, while continuing her professional role as Associate Dean.
The Professional Excellence Jewel Award: Joint Winners Rafaqat Sabir of CVS Financial Planning Limited and Paul Thandi of the NEC Group
Born and raised in Birmingham, Raf Sabir decided at an early age to pursue a career in finance and, after completing his BSc degree in Accountancy at Cardiff University, he realised his dream job when he joined Barclays Corporate Banking. After eight years at Barclays, Raf decided to venture into self employment when he set up CVS Financial Planning Limited, securing an expanding niche market offering financial services as an IFA in the corporate sector.
Raf attributes his company’s success to the personal service he provides, his dedicated team of professionals and the close links he has developed with many of the large financial institutions. Over the last two years the company has arranged finance in excess of £120m, dealing with some of the best known and established businesses within the Midlands area and beyond.
Raf’s hopes for CVS Financial Planning are to secure over £150m worth of lending over the coming 12 months and diversify his business to provide a wide range of corporate financial planning. He hopes to expand his niche quality market and to create an environment of professional financial services networked through a high calibre client base. Raf lives in Solihull and is married with two young children. He is a keen sportsman and captains a Birmingham cricket league team which has won the league three times in five seasons. Raf is also actively involved in charity work and helped raise in excess of £100K for the Pakistan earthquake victims.
Chief Executive of the NEC Group, Paul Thandi, is no newcomer to the burgeoning events and exhibition industry. Previously an Executive Director at CMP Information (CMPi), a multimedia trading division in exhibitions, conferences, digital, information products and online communities, Thandi spent the last three years enabling CMPi’s acquisition and merger strategy and managing the full strategic, financial and operational control of the company’s exhibition and publishing portfolio.
Driving the business forward through commercial and strategic leadership, Thandi was also responsible for high-profile acquisitions which included the purchase of Builder Barbour Group from Cinven. He was also part of a management team that led the recovery of media company CMP, with a profit increase from 2% in 2000 to just over 20% in 2003.
Following his time at CMPi, he embraced the position of Commercial Director at The NEC Group where Thandi was responsible for delivering the largest haul of new business in any one year in the company’s history. Since becoming Chief Executive he has rebuilt the company’s brand and reputation. Introducing a new style of leadership, Thandi has created a new mantra for The NEC Group which he believes is critical to ensure its survival in a highly competitive global venue market. This has included creating a new senior management team, the introduction of leadership training across the Group, development of a Corporate Responsibility Strategy and making sure the Group becomes a data led organisation. Thandi represents The NEC Group on the boards of Marketing Birmingham, CBI West Midlands Council, Birmingham & Solihull Employment & Skills, Birmingham Prospectus Advisory Group.
The Public Service Excellence Jewel Award: Zareen Roohi Ahmed of Waterhouse Consulting Group
Dudley born mother of two, Zareen Roohi Ahmed, has made it her personal prerogative to lend a voice to the critical issues facing Muslims in Britain. Zareen was the first Muslim woman to lead a national Muslim organisation in Britain, the British Muslim Forum.
From a design background, Zareen moved into Public Sector Project Management and from 1998-2000 Zareen was Fundraising and Marketing Manager at the NSPCC. She then joined The Experience Corps as National Operations Director and today is a Senior Partner at Waterhouse Consulting Group, leading the Muslim Communities & Counter-Extremism Division. A keen volunteer, Zareen mentors underachieving youths, hosts a community radio show and chairs various organisations. Also a talented painter, she founded a community arts organisation called Silverleaf in 2004. Zareen has a PhD in Islamic studies focusing on the position of Muslim Women in Britain.
Retail Food & Franchise Excellence Jewel Award: Amrik S Uppal, East & West Restaurant Group
You can count on Amrik S Uppal, Chairman of East & West Restaurants Group, to bring the Midlands closer to a more refined experience of world class dining. Arguably the first restaurant chain in the UK to have transformed and redefined Birmingham’s status as offering much more than the simple balti, East & West Restaurants Group has been the talk of the town in Birmingham and beyond for over two decades. East & West Restaurants Group is the name behind innovative dining concepts such as Jimmy Spice’s World Buffet, Blue Mango, Indian Brasserie & Bar, NYC Bar & Lounge and the internationally renowned Shimla Pinks chain of restaurants.
Arriving in the UK in the late 1970s, Uppal first began work in the Duport foundry in Dudley and, after redundancy, moved to Glasgow to work with his uncle and cousins in their grocery business. In search of pastures new, Uppal acquired a shop with help from his best friend and business partner, Surinder, and soon embarked upon opening an Indian restaurant – Shimla Pinks – in Johnstone, Ayrshire in the late 1980s. This was followed by the opening of two further restaurants, East India Company in Stirling and the Killermont Polo club in Glasgow.
Uppal sold out in 2001 to concentrate on other projects and in 2003 he acquired the old Glassworks in Regency Wharf, Broad Street, Birmingham, launching Shimla Pinks upon the Midlands. Further units were to follow in Oxford, Nottingham, Manchester, Leicester and London. Group turnover is expected to break the £10million mark this year, cementing East & West Restaurants Group’s place as one of the leading Asian UK restaurant groups.
The Future Leaders Award Winner: Bhavik Patel, Usman Shabir, Ateeq Javed – Warwickshire County Cricket Club Academy
The Future Leaders Award is a very special award presented to a young individual/s who has
demonstrated strong leadership and social awareness skills. This was presented to The
Warwickshire County Cricket Club Academy, which is an integral part of the ECB world class
Performance Plan, and it is envisaged that many of the National Academy and international players of the future will come via the County Academies. The Academy has the responsibility of identifying, selecting and developing the next generation of Warwickshire and England players and, to date, their success has been more than encouraging with young players such as Bhavik Patel, Usman Shabir and Ateeq Javed.
Bhavik Patel is 19 and currently attending Nottingham Trent University. He has toured with the Academy to South Africa and is at present in the Warwickshire Under19s side and hopes to captain them this summer. Usman Shabir is 16 and plays for Warwickshire Under16’s and Under17’s. He holds the clubs top average of 102 and also contributed with 3 fifties last season. He scored 900 plus runs for his club Moseley whom he now represents in the 2nd’s and 1st team. Ateeq Javid is also 16 and plays for Warwickshire under 16’s and under 17’s. The club was overjoyed with his performance last summer when he scored over 250 runs and took 11 wickets over a short period. He also currently plays for Aston Manor in the 1st team. All three boys have achieved remarkable success in their chosen sport and are earmarked to become Future Leaders in cricket.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Keith Vaz MP
On 26th July 2007, Keith Vaz was elected Chairman of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee – the body charged with examining the expenditure, policy and administration of the Home Office and its associated public bodies. He was appointed a member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council in June 2006. He was educated at Latymer Upper School, Hammersmith and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University. Keith has been a Member of Parliament for Leicester East since 1987. During this time he has held a number of Government posts: Minister of State for Europe (1999-2001); Parliamentary Secretary (Minister), Lord Chancellor’s Dept (May-Oct 1999); and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Attorney General, John Morris, and Solicitor General, Lord Falconer QC (June 1997-May 1999). He has previously served as a Member of the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee, as Chair of the Sub-Committee for Courts and the Judiciary, and has previously been a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee (1987-1992). Between 1993 and 1994, he was a Member of the Executive Committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Keith is a member of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee. He is also Chair of the Labour Party’s Ethnic Minority Taskforce. Among his national activities, he is Founder Patron of Silver Star Appeal, Next Steps Foundation and Naz Project London, Vice Chair, British Council and President, India Development Group (UK) Ltd.
Truett Tate, Group Executive Director, Wholesale & International Banking, Lloyds TSB, said: “The continued success story of British Asian firms is an inspiration to the wider business
community. Currently, Asian owned firms are outpacing other companies in their rate of growth and are making their mark across fields as diverse as culture, finance, retail and professional services.
“Our sponsorship of the Jewel Awards is just one way that Lloyds TSB is helping to recognise and develop this success. We have established ourselves as a bank that is dedicated to serving Britain’s changing communities. We are continuing to develop our range of Islamic financial services and are always exploring new ways to meet the needs of our Asian customers.”
Khalid Darr, Chairman of the Carter Andersen (CA), organisers of The Lloyds TSB Jewel Awards, says: “Asian men and women throughout the regions are challenging the world of business, breaking new grounds in their professional careers and adding real value to the UK economy, this is what these awards set out to recognise.”
Nominations for this year’s Lloyds TSB Southern Jewel Awards are still open and can be made via a dedicated website: www.jewelawards.tv
STAR TV, the world’s leading Asian satellite channel and the most popular destination for Indian televisual entertainment, are the media partners for this year’s Lloyds TSB Jewel Awards, and are televising all three regional events exclusively on STAR Plus. The Lloyds TSB Central Jewel Awards will be broadcast on Saturday 12th July 2008, 7.00pm on STAR Plus.