Radio 1 and BBC Asian Network DJ, Nihal Athanayake has been integral in championing Asian music and the newly expanded programme encouraged him to explore the industry from a different angle. “I’ve been embedded in Asian music for a long time and I’ve been able to bring my personal knowledge to The Asian Awards judging process, but with nominees from China, Korea and Japan I’ve been more reliant on facts, figures and fellow judges about their impact, and this had made the process challenging in a positive way and broadened out the scope of the awards which can only be a good thing.”
Rishi Rich, the Creative Director of Rishi Rich Productions who discovered last year’s winner of Outstanding Achievement in Music, Jay Sean, said it was interesting to educate a mixed panel and be educated by different perspectives. “I was looking for an artist that has had an impact on society and has a story to tell; not just someone on the radio or in a film at the moment. Every legendary artist has a story that shows in their work and you can always tell the difference between a real artist with real issues and the ones just in it for the money.”
In two short years The Asian Awards has established itself as one of the world’s most prestigious events honouring outstanding figures from the South Asian community and this expansion now gives the awards unparalleled global appeal.
Founders Paul Sagoo, of consultancy Lemon Group and Caroline Jackson Levy, CEO of UBM Awards and Partnerships, both feel the expansion is a significant step forward for the program.
“This geographical expansion means that the Asian Awards can now truly live up to its name and celebrate global Asian achievement on an even grander scale,” said Jackson Levy. “We had always planned to recognise the achievements from the global Asian community and this is an exciting time for The Asian Awards.” adds Sagoo.
On Thursday 8th March, The House of Lords hosted 15 leading figures from the worlds of politics, business, sport, media, arts and technology to choose winners from a short-list of inspirational luminaries and pioneers.
Baroness Verma of Leicester, Chair of Judges, said: “The Asian Awards is an inspirational platform from which to celebrate some of the world’s most inspiring people. As Chair of Judges, I am delighted to preside over the judging process. To be working with so many esteemed judges to select the winner is an honour and I’m proud that the process is rigorous, transparent and robust.”
In 2010 and 2011, the Asian Awards honoured some of the most inspiring and influential people in the South Asian community – from record-breaking cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Muttiah Muralitharan to legendary artistes, Asha Bhosle, Freddie Mercury (posthumously), Amitabh Bachchan, Jay Sean and AR Rahman to powerful business magnates Ratan Tata, Vijay Mallya and Dr KP Singh, and leaders in technology such as Google’s Amit Singhal.
This year, judges will bring their insight and expertise to 13 awards categories including Business Leader, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Public Servant and Social Entrepreneur of the Year to Outstanding Achievement in Music, Art & Design, Sport, Cinema, Television and Science.
Visit www.theasianawards.com for a full list of 2011 winners as well as information on how to book tickets to the 2012 Awards.