Midlands Laud Asian Businesses


 AMG group’s Annual Rich List and Asian Business Awards Celebrate Asian Entrepreneurial Spirit

Maganbhai Patel winner of the Spirit in the Community Award at the Asian Business Awards Midlands
Maganbhai Patel winner of the Spirit in the Community Award at the Asian Business Awards Midlands

Last Friday saw some of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs from the Midlands come together to celebrate Asian success and honour some amazing and inspirational individuals from across the region. The gala event to launch the annul Asian Rich List Midlands and the Asian Business Awards. Midlands took place at the highly prestigious Dallas Burston Polo Club.

The reveal of the Annual Asian Rich List Midlands saw Ranjit Boparan of 2 Sisters Food Group maintain his position at the top of the money mountain ahead of Steel tycoon Lord Swraj Paul for the fourth consecutive year.

Despite a tough year which saw husband and wife team Ranjit and Baljit Boparan suffer significant losses in their overall wealth (dropping below their 2015 billionaire status to £900 million),  2 Sisters Group has consolidated its position and is now one of the most significant food producers in the UK.

In what has been another tough year for the economy, this year’s Asian Rich List – Midlands, published by Asian Media & Marketing Group (AMG) on 22nd April, shows the combined overall net worth of the 51 millionaires sits at an £3.89 billion. The net drop of £474 million since 2015 is largely due to the top two companies on the list facing tough times within their respective industry sectors.

Hasmukh Thakrar, Kamlesh Thakrar & Sailesh Thakrar of HKS Retail - winners of Business of the Year Award at this year's Asian Business Awards Midlands
Hasmukh Thakrar, Kamlesh Thakrar & Sailesh Thakrar of HKS Retail – winners of Business of the Year Award at this year’s Asian Business Awards Midlands

27 of the 51 millionaires have seen an overall increase in their net worth, with Leicester based Dr Nik Kotecha of Morningside Pharmaceuticals being the highest climber, with an overall increase in net worth of £45 million to £100 million. The impressive jump takes him firmly into the Top 10 and places him at Number 5 – from last year’s number 11.

The impact of the global economic slowdown has definitely impacted on business, with 15 of the millionaires treading water to maintain their valuations and positions, whilst 9 of them have dropped in their valuations.

The list does however see four new entries, with a combined value of £69 million. The highest new entry is Kailash Suri, of Reel Cinema Group, at number 32 and a valuation of £25 million. Suri, who came to Britain from India in 1981 to study business management at university dropped out after struggling to pay the fees. He worked on a farm picking strawberries and was inspired enough to borrow money to buy 100 acres of farm land to grow Asian herbs.

The enterprise was successful enough for Suri to buy a house in nearby Loughborough. From the cash flow the business generated he bought properties and started renting them out, building a successful property empire in the process. In 2001, his eye for a great property deal saw him open his first cinema, when he returned the art deco theatre in Loughborough to its former glory. His passion and enthusiasm for cinema and obvious business acumen has seen his family-owned group grow to become one of the UK’s largest independent cinema chains with 16 venues.

With the entry point for this year’s list being set at £12 million, one would expect many of the business owners to be first generation immigrants that have worked hard to build their fortunes – however interestingly, the list shows that the ‘young guns’are making their mark in the Midlands, with two of the millionaires being under 40 and 15 being aged between 40 and 50. The Midlands millionaires are in fact significantly younger (54.5 cf 61) than those featured in the national Asian rich list, with the youngest entrepreneur on the list this year being Kavi Jundu, with his West Bromwich based cardboard box manufacturing company


Imandeep Kaur of the Impact Hub - winner of Businesswoman of the Year at this year's Asian Business Awards Midlands
Imandeep Kaur of the Impact Hub – winner of Businesswoman of the Year at this year’s Asian Business Awards Midlands

Shailesh Solanki, executive editor of AMG and one of a panel of four experts who has examined British Asian wealth over the last year for the Asian Rich List, said: “This year’s Midlands Asian Rich List shows the remarkable resilience of Asian businesses. Despite another challenging year, the majority of businesses on the list continue to innovate and grow and have seen increases in their overall wealth. The power of the Midlands and the growing impact that Asian businesses have on the local and regional economy is clear and it’s encouraging to see new industries, sectors and the younger generations replacing the traditional industries to raise the profile and influence of the regions again. ”

There can be no doubt that this is a community which has had a huge impact on the UK economy over the past fifty years, and attendance at the gala to honour these Asian entrepreneurs by country leaders, members of the cabinet and other top politicians and businessmen is indicative of the both their financial and political impact. This year’s event saw Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis Partnership, take part in a special Q&A session with host Nihal Arthanayake, where he shared his insights about the John Lewis model, leadership skills and employee engagement that have made John Lewis a leading force in the retail sector.

The Asian Business Awards in partnership with Rybrook Rolls Royce, which have been recognising outstanding business talent across the Midlands for the past three years, year saw some more outstanding and innovative winners who were all honoured at the gala.

This year’s winners are:

Rosie Ginday,Managing Director - Miss Macaroon - winner of Young Entrepreneur Award at this year's Asian Business Awards Midlands
Rosie Ginday,Managing Director – Miss Macaroon – winner of Young Entrepreneur Award at this year’s Asian Business Awards Midlands

Manufacturing Award: Presented to an outstanding manufacturing business that has demonstrated the highest standards of quality and controls throughout its business and production processes

Winner: Jitha Singh Sahota, Corrugated Box Supplies

 Healthcare Business Award: Awarded to a company that has shown entrepreneurial flair and contributed to the nation’s wellbeing.

Winner: Nitin Sodha, Knights Pharmacy

Restaurant Award: Awarded to an establishment that has enhanced the dining and culinary experience.

Winner: Pawan Kenth & Paul Bassi, Asha’s

Community Champion Award:

Awarded to an individual who has made a difference to their community and for their philanthropic work.

Winner: Raj Holness, Breaking the Silence

 Spirit in the Community Award: Presented to someone for exceptional and selfless work in the community.

Winner: Maganbhai Patel, Community worker

Fast Growth Business Award with Mazars:  Given to a company that has grown the business in size and profit

Winner: Tilk Raj Mehta, Salisbury Poultry (Midlands) Ltd

Young Entrepreneur Award: Given to someone under the age of 35 who has had a major commercial role or an outstanding impact on business.

Winner: Rosie Ginday, Miss Macaroon

Entrepreneur Award in partnership with HSBC Private Bank: Presented to an outstanding businessman or woman over the age of 35 who has shown flair, innovation and drive in developing a business.

Winner: Shiraz Tejani

Asian Businesswoman Award: Awarded to an individual for consistent high achievement.

Winner: Imandeep Kaur, Impact Hub

Asian Business of the Year in partnership with Rybrook Rolls-Royce: Awarded to a company that is a proven commercial success and/or has an Asian at the head of business.

Winner:  Sailesh, Kamlesh, & Hasmukh Thakrar, HKS Retail

Kalpesh Solanki, Group Managing Editor of AMG added: “The enterprising spirit and the crucial role of entrepreneurs is vital not only to the economy but to society as a whole as it serves to inspire the next generation of businessmen and women.  It is this attitude that will drive the economy forward, fundamentally creating jobs and giving families value and sense of purpose. The winners of the Asian Business Awards 2016 are just a handful of these amazingly dedicated, innovative and committed individuals.”