Scottish Asian men and women were recognised for their business achievements at the Scottish Asian Business Awards on Wednesday 23 November at the Thistle Hotel.
Irfan Younis, Director for the event organisers, Oceanic Consulting, said: ‘This year the competition was exceptionally strong. We had some truly inspiring winners and finalists and they should all be incredibly proud of themselves.’
John Rendall, CEO of HSBC in Scotland, said: “HSBC is proud to be supporting these awards and it was fantastic to see the achievements of Scotland’s thriving Asian business community being recognised. At HSBC we continue to see innovative Scottish businesses making strides and we’re well placed to help them realise their potential. I was impressed by the high calibre of nominees. The winners should all be very proud of their personal achievements and the spirit of entrepreneurship they are fuelling in Scotland.’
The keynote speaker was the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon who said: ‘This is a great opportunity to recognise the major contribution the Scottish Asian business community makes to Scotland.’
The event also raised money for The British Asian Trust. Set up by the Prince of Wales, the charity serves as a ‘social fund’ to support high impact charities in education, enterprise and health. Since it was formed in 2009 the charity has helped over 350,000 people in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the UK.
AWARD winners were:
Young Achiever of the Year – Ricky Singh, owner of Team Singh, a personal fitness training company based in Ayrshire. A talented boxer, he is aiming for a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. His website is http://www.teamsingh.com
Franchisee of the Year – Kumon Educational, Glasgow (Saima Afzal). The company offers English and maths tutoring to children of all ages and abilities; instilling lifelong study skills and boosting children’s confidence. The Glasgow franchise is located at 15 Kenmure Street, Pollokshields. Its website is: http://www.kumon.co.uk/
Small Business of the Year – Khan Autos – is a family run business which has been going for 32 years. It is located at 23-25 Garturk Street, Govanhill. The website is: http://www.khanautos.co.uk/
The Community Award – E Waste Solutions – This not for profit organisation aims to help disadvantaged people learn computer skills. The company recycles used equipment and has a zero landfill policy to ensure they are as environmentally friendly as possible. They have donated several computers to the village of Samundri in Pakistan, where company director Zahid Rafiq’s late mother came from. The website is http://www.ewastesolutions.co.uk/index.php
Businesswoman of the Year – Preet Sandhu – founded a Glasgow based residential letting and property management company, Happy Lets. Preet works alongside her husband Bobby in running the company. A graduate in business management, Preet is also the daughter of curry king (and winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award) Charan Gill. Happy Lets website is: http://www.happylets.co.uk/
Businessman of the Year – Asim Sarwar – managing director of United Wholesale (Scotland) Ltd, a wholesale cash & carry operation in Glasgow, trading in tobacco, alcohol and grocery products predominantly to the traditional independent retail market in Scotland’s central belt. A family business, Asim has worked for Wholesale (Scotland) Ltd for 11 years.
Business of the Year – Perfect Glazing (Glasgow) Limited – it manufactures Rehau units on-site in their own Scottish factory. It is the only double glazing installer in Scotland that has a toughened glass plant on-site producing toughened glass to certified British Standards. Clients include the Royal Navy and Strathclyde Fire Brigade. Website is http://www.perfectglazingscotland.com/
Entrepreneur of the Year – Samrat Sarkar – owner of Sarkar Defence Solutions Ltd, a company specialising in the manufacture of ballistic and tactical body armour for police and military. An ex-Royal Navy Officer, Samrat founded the company four years ago. His clients now include the US Army, Italian Special Forces, the Peruvian Army, the Spanish Navy, the UN and many others. Samrat sources as many of his materials as possible, locally and transferred manufacturing to Scotland. Sarkar Defence Solutions website is: http://www.sarkardefence.com/
Lifetime Achievement – Charan Gill MBE – The man is credited by many in making the curry a staple of the Scottish diet. Arriving in Scotland from India at 9 and leaving school at 16 he worked his way up from cleaning toilets and peeling onions to being the owner of a chain of 17 restaurants. He now concentrates on building links between Scottish and Indian businesses. Last month he raised £1 million for the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice.
On Budget day, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon formally opened a Brookfield Multiplex Healthcare and Life Sciences Suite at Cardonald College.
The unit will enable the Southside college to offer science and health care training to increase job opportunities as the South Glasgow Hospital develops.
Said Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: ‘Giving people skills is vitally important. The new Hospital will be the biggest in the UK and it is on budget and on time. As the workforce there expands we want to ensure local people have the opportunities to take up employment. That’s why this College Suite is so important. This is a time of significant change in the NHS and training for the new NHS workforce will require close partnership working between the NHS Scotland and education providers such as Cardonald College.
It took a year of concentrated organisation to refine the packages of training offered in the modern complex and available through Anniesland College and James Watt College too. They cover clinical simulation areas for health care students and specialist science facilities to support microbiology, biology, human physiology, pharmacy studies, chemistry, biochemistry and physics.
A new Higher National Certificate and Diploma course in Health Care support has been written to accommodate the qualifications required in current Health Service posts.
Said College Principal, Susan Walsh: ‘We have a long history of working closely with community organisations such as The Robertson Trust and we are delighted to have Brookfield Multiplex join that partnership. Their commitment to the local community has been energising and very refreshing. Our students will gain great benefit from this innovative partnership of public, private and voluntary sectors.’
The main contractor for the construction of the South Glasgow Hospital, Brookfield Multiplex operates a Community Benefits Strategy. This involves local residents and companies during the construction period by supporting jobs, apprenticeships, training and education so bringing economic benefit to social enterprise organisations and small and medium companies.