Several prominent people from the business and Asian community assembled at the conference room of EMF House near China Town to witness the event. Raj Sarin, Managing Director of New Asian Media, the publishers, welcomed the dignitaries. Sajjad Karim MEP, former mayor Councillor Afzal Khan and Buddhev Pandya MBE delivered felicitation speeches.
Editor and publisher, Anasudhin Azeez, previously edited the Johnston Press owned leading title Asian Leader.
Instead of producer-driven content, Asian Lite will adopt a policy of user-driven content,” said Azeez. “Community organisaions and social forums are the backbone of the title and we will devote more space for cultural news, events and community photos.”
Azeez believes his title, which has been privately funded, will succeed because there are no other quality Asian titles in the UK.
Check any newspaper.” said Azeez. “Even newspapers from the big media stables like Guardian (Asian News) and Johnston Press (Asian Leader) are dominated with stories like violence, drugs, racial discrimination, illegal immigration, forced marriages and gun crime. These are only a slice of the spectrum. Asians are really doing well in some of the major sectors in the British economy.
“The new generations are doing well academically. There are more professionals in the Indian community than other segment of the British society. But even in the post Big Brother era, they are still largely synonymous with curry and Shilpa.”
He added that the publication’s links with professional associations will “prove to be our backbone.” Thirty plus professional associations across the UK have signed up as distribution partners for the venture.
Azeez has lined some of the ‘big names’ in the Asian media industry as writers including Bikram Vohra (managing editor of Bahrian Tribune and a former editor of Indian Express) and Rahul Singh (former editor of the Asian edition of Reader’s Digest).
They have also persuaded the Indian Cabinet Minister for Expat Affairs, Vayalar Ravi, to write a column. Other columnists include Asian model Sadia Siddiqui, former Manchester mayor Afzal Khan, Sajjad Karim MEP and Buddhev Pandya MBE.
Prior to editing the Asian Leader, Azeez was news editor with Khaleej Times in Dubai and subsequently a special correspondent for the paper in London. He has also worked on the Gulf Today in Sharjah and the Indian Express.