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Asian biz forum gears up for gala event

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NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul being felicitated during annual convocation at Doaba College in Jalandhar

Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB)  annual dinner and awards in Birmingham attract new business sponsors and a television favourite

NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul being felicitated during annual convocation at Doaba College in Jalandhar
NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul being felicitated during annual convocation at Doaba College in Jalandhar

A well-known face on local television is to compere the Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB) annual dinner and awards on 29 November at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham.  Suzanne Virdee, perhaps best known as the main co-presenter on BBC Midlands Today and a regular face on BBC Breakfast news will be presenting the two main guest speakers, top industrialist Lord Paul of Marylebone and leading entrepreneur Hussein Lalani at the International Convention Centre event on29 November.

As well as hosting events, Suzanne is now working freelance as a producer and presenter, media trainer and crisis management consultant. She also presents corporate videos and is a voice over artist. She lives in Worcestershire with her husband Andrew.

Speaker, Lord Paul, 83, is chairman of steel and engineering empire, the Caparo Group, which has its major regional office in Oldbury and a technology division on Wolverhampton Science Park.

Mr Lalani is a co-founder of 99p Stores, which has just opened its 250th store in the UK, in Northampton, and is approaching a turnover of £500m.   99p Stores, which as the name suggests, is a major rival of Poundland, and was set up by Nadir Lalani and his two sons, Hussein and Faisal, in 2001.

The IAB has also added a new joint principal sponsor to accompany Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham.  Total Gas and Power are energy suppliers to industrial, commercial and business customers throughout the UK.

Law firm Mills & Reeve LLP has also agreed to sponsor the event along with Birmingham Airport and award sponsors JM Security Systems, Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Charity, Paycare and SureLet.

IAB president Saqib Bhatti said: “The Institute of Asian Businesses’ welcomes Total Gas and Power and Mills and Reeve who like all our sponsors have shown a commitment in supporting the Greater Birmingham Asian business community.  Being a sponsor at our event goes a long way to demonstrating to business people from across the region, that these companies value them and want to be working with them.

“And I am really looking forward to having Suzanne Virdee as our compere. The Asian business community will appreciate having Suzanne hosting the awards, given that she is a well-known personality and highly respected in her field. Given her experience, I have no doubt she will do a sterling job as our compere and will make sure the evening’s proceedings are seamless.

In its annual awards this year, which will be presented at the dinner, the IAB has introduced a new category for women in business.  Now in its 27th year, this event plays a major part in the IAB business agenda.