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.
The spice of Glasgow’s curry houses took to the red carpet on Tuesday 15 June for the Scottish Curry Awards at the Thistle Hotel, and a new kid on the block stole the show.
The newly opened Bukharah restaurant, part of the refurbished Lorne Hotel, was the star, bagging both the Restaurant and Chef of the Year Awards. For Archie Sharif, owner of the new Lorne Hotel, this recognition is sweet justification for the changes he made to Glasgow’s famous hotel, which reopened only in 2009.
After the awards, Archie beamed:’This is a fantastic achievement for the Bukharah, to win both awards, I am absolutely delighted and want to thank all our customers for voting for us. The Bukharah offers something different to the curry connoisseur, it’s healthy Indian cuisine, exactly what it says on the door, home cooking at it’s best.’
While the Bukharah is a new player on Glasgow’s vibrant curry scene, experienced hands are involved in cooking the curry. Head Chef Mahrukh Butt, originally from Pakistan, came from the 5 star Dubai Sheraton to be head chef at the Bukharah. In collecting the Chef of the Year award Mahruk continues a remarkable personal journey. In leading Bukharah’s kitchen she became Scotland’s first Asian female head-chef. Mahruk lavished praise on the Lorne hotel after receiving her award. She said:’I am delighted to have been awarded Chef of the Year. Working at the Bukharah has allowed me to be creative in my cooking, I enjoy being able to come up with new healthy food dishes using fresh Scottish produce. The restaurant is part of a boutique hotel and not a global chain, it’s unique and to me that’s something special.’ Congratulations to Bukharah and all the other flavours of the night!