The prestigious event, now in its fifth year, was held on Saturday 21st April 2007 at the Palace Hotel, Manchester and played host to the cream of the Asian community from in and around the region. The awards are held to celebrate the huge impact of British Asians in both the public and private sector and will reinforce the Northern region’s reputation as a hub of the UK’s Asian economy. Estimates are that over 200,000 Asian firms exist in the UK, many of which are based in the North.
Six coveted Jewel Awards were announced, with the winners short-listed from a record 13,500 nominations. They included accolades for Professional Excellence, Public Service Excellence, Retail Food & Franchise Excellence, Business & Commerce Excellence, Healthcare & Education Excellence, Entrepreneur Excellence and the prized Lifetime Achievement Jewel Award.
This year’s winners are as follows:
The Professional Excellence Jewel Award: Aamer Anwar
Having built up a fearsome reputation in civil liberties law, the 39-year old from Glasgow was the only Asian to make it to Number 64 in The Firm magazine’s Top 100 Most Powerful People in Law, last year. In September 2005, Aamer became partner in his criminal defence law firm which, for two years in a row, was awarded the Criminal Law Firm of the Year. Branching out on his own in 2006, his firm – Aamer Anwar and Co Solicitors – is considered a benchmark for excellence when it comes to fighting for human rights.
The Healthcare & Education Excellence Jewel Award: Dr Robina Shah
Robina has given 13 years to public service, most of which has been to the NHS and the Magistracy and the University of Manchester. In 2000, she was appointed as chairman of Stockport NHS Trust, later to become one of the first wave of Foundation Trust Hospitals in the NHS in 2004. Robina was awarded the MBE in 2003 for services to disabled children, and received the commission of Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester and Lancashire on 28th April 2006.
The Business & Commerce Excellence Jewel Award: Anjum Ahmed
Anjum Ahmed set up the Manchester-based NIK NAK Clothing in the early 90s and by 2002 he had established the business with a strong client base and a wide network of factories producing exclusively for NIK NAK. The business has flourished due to the positive vision, dynamic leadership and relentless efforts of Anjum and, in 2004, NIK NAK was rated the 14th fastest growing company in the UK, by Delloite’s INDY 100.
The Retail Food & Franchise Excellence Jewel Award: Zuber Issa
In 2001, Lancashire-based Zuber Issa acquired some petrol forecourts in the North West. By 2006, Eurogarages became a Virgin fast Track 100 company and acquired much sought after sites in key locations. Eurogarages focuses financial capital and other resources towards building a reputation, not only for growth, but also for quality products and service.
The Public Service Excellence Jewel Award: Nita Jhanji-Garrod
Nita has been serving as an officer for Greater Manchester Police for 20 years, being the first Asian policewoman to join the force in 1986. In August 2005, she joined the newly-established Diversity Command, which spearheads GMP’s strategic approach to diversity. Nita is an executive member of the Black and Asian Police Association as a key player in GMP’s journey towards greater diversity in employment and service provision.
The Entrepreneur Excellence Jewel Award: Asif Dean
Rochdale-based Asif Dean’s major breakthrough came when he decided to set up Dean Solicitors -his own legal practice – in early 2002, specialising in the fields of Civil Litigation, Personal Injury, Employment, Commercial and Residential Conveyancing and Immigration Law. Having achieved the Investors in People standard in 2003, the practice has expanded to establish further offices in Bury and Bradford.
The Lifetime Achievement Jewel Award: Nirmal Singh MBE
Over the last 30 years, Nirmal Singh has worked across business, public, community and charitable work sectors, recognised for his achievements when he was awarded an MBE by Prince Charles, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. Arriving in Britain in 1967, Nirmal set up Nirmal Razia Mart in Bradford, a retail mart and manufacturing business that now serves 600 UK retail outlets. He has chaired and been an active leading founder member of a number of Asian business organisations, including Bradford Asian Business Association, the Yorkshire Sikh Forum and the Bradford and District Ethnic Minority Police Liaison Committee.
The Lloyds TSB Northern Jewel Awards was the first of three glittering award ceremonies celebrating and commending the achievements of the movers and shakers of UK Asian enterprise, with additional events comprising Lloyds TSB Central Jewel Awards on 14th July 2007 at NEC Hilton, Birmingham and Lloyds TSB Southern Jewel Awards on 15th September 2007 at Hilton Park Lane, London.
Truett Tate, Group Executive Director, Wholesale & International Banking, Lloyds TSB, said: “The success of Britain’s Asian community is a shining example to us all. We have established ourselves as a bank with a real edge when it comes to serving Britain’s communities. Our Islamic financial services and India Banking Service are just two examples of initiatives we have launched to cater for the needs of our increasingly diverse population.”
Lloyds TSB’s sponsorship of the Jewel Awards is just one aspect of the bank’s continuing involvement with the UK’s fast growing Asian population, as an employer and a financial services provider. The Group has also developed a range of products and services catering for the community’s unique financial needs.
Nominations for this year’s Lloyds TSB Central and Southern Jewel Awards are still open and can be made via a dedicated website: www.jewelawards.tv