Asian Achievers Awards
16 September 2023, LONDON Attendees from around the world gathered in London for the 21st periodic Asian Achievers Awards, which saw leading South Asians from across the UK fete for their donation to erecting British society. The event was hosted by Eastenders actor Nitin Ganatra alongside Pakistani Balu Mahi actress Ainy Jaffri Rahman, with further than 500 attendees from business, entertainment, and public service.
Amongst the winners was WBC tableware heavyweight champion, Hamzah Sheeraz, coming briskly off the 18th knockout of his career the former weekend. In an exceptionally delicate time for healthcare workers in the UK over the last many times with the COVID-19 epidemic, the cost-of-living extremity and major pay controversies, the night saw three NHS workers win coveted awards.
Former paramedic Salman Desai BEM was awarded for his outstanding work for the North West Ambulance service, and Dr Lalitha Iyer for her fidelity during the COVID-19 epidemic targeting a reduction in deaths for ethnical nonages.
Principal Clinical Officer of NHS Bexley CCG Dr Nikki Kanani won Professional of the Time. Music musician Jasdeep Singh Degun was commemorated for his donation to the Art and Culture order, Dr Harren Jhoti FRS OBE won the Business Person of the Year award for being at the van of British wisdom and invention, particularly his leadership in discovering and developing medicines in oncology and conditions of the central nervous system. Other victors included Tani Dulay as Entrepreneur of the Time, artist and shooter Poulomi Desai for Community Service, and ITN presenter Anila Dhami in the Media order.
For his work in the British real estate assiduity and the charitable sector, the Lifetime Achievement jewel went to Shashikant K Vekaria. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said “ The Asian Achievers Awards give a great occasion for us to honor the outstanding accomplishments of British Asians in the UK. It’s good to celebrate the positive impact and donation all the appointees have made in creating a more ultramodern, dynamic and encyclopedically-facing frugality in the UK. ” Indian songster Kanika Kapoor was bestowed with the Special Award for Contribution to Music honour as her songs have been streamed nearly 200 million times just on Spotify. She said “ After further than a decade in the film and music assiduity, I’m pleased to admit this special recognition at the Asian Achievers Awards. With the Prime Minister of the UK himself delivering these Awards, it gives me great pleasure to be in a room full of change-makers.
” The event was organised by global premonitory establishment EPG alongside bridging loan company Market Financial Results ( MFS). Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, said “ We need to celebrate British South Asian successes given just how doubtful they could have been.
It takes a lot for generations of families with overseas roots to acclimatize and fit in with a different society. Not to mention all the other civil challenges they may face similar to culture clash, or implicit internationalism. Yet, indeed with odds against them, we’ve seen British South Asians not only integrate but thrive. ” Attendees included Deputy Mayor of Business for London Rajesh Agrawal, author of Sigma Pharmaceuticals Dr Bharat Shah CBE, the first Gujarati to represent the Conservative Party in the Upper House Lord Dolar Popat, and novelist Lord Jeffrey Archer as well as several stars of leading Marvel, Netflix, Nickelodeon and BBC shows. Lord Archer ran a charity transaction on behalf of charity mate One Kind Act, which provides subventions for poverty relief and education causes across Africa and South Asia, raising £ 200,000.
The charity said this figure would help hoist several thousands of youthful people out of poverty in the poor areas of the world. This fundraiser takes the total raised for good causes by the Asian Achievers Awards over the last two decades to over 5m. Pratik Dattani, Managing Director of EPG, said “ The last time was a milepost for South Asians in the UK. Leaders of the government or main political parties in Westminster, Scotland, Ireland and London are each from a South Asian heritage.
It was important for this time’s Awards to honour the gems in our community across the country. Our community is leading the way in helping Britain to level up, a commodity plaintively demanded in a cost-of-living extremity. ” The event was organised with support from the specialist finance company Market Financial Results ( MFS), the Royal Air Force( RAF), bank SBI UK, apparel leasing establishment Ayrela, restatement specialists Language practitioners, Moussaieff Jewellers, as well as think tank Bridge India, media mates Asian Voice, Gujarat Samachar and Sunrise Radio.
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Full list of winners:
Art and Culture: Jasdeep Singh Degun
Degun is a virtuoso sitarist and composer who skilfully merges Indian classical and contemporary
music, transcending cultural confines with his exceptional artistry. He unveiled his debut album
Anomaly last year, under Real World Records. Jasdeep’s cross-cultural production Orpheus
earned secured him the 2022 Critics’ Circle Music Award. He is also the first Indian classical
musician to be artist-in-residence at Opera North.
Business Person of the Year: Dr Harren Jhoti FRS OBE
Since co-founding his biotech company Astex Pharmaceuticals in 1999 to discover and develop of
drugs in oncology and diseases of the central nervous system, CEO and President Dr Jhoti was
presented with an OBE in 2023 for his contribution to the industry. He was made a Fellow of the
Royal Society in 2018, the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2016 and the Academy of Medical
Sciences in 2015. He is also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the UK
Community Service: Poulomi Desai
Desai is a British artist, photographer, curator and activist community worker. Poulomi’s work
spans multiple mediums, including performance, photography, language and sound, blending
digital and analogue elements in innovative ways. Her artistic practice is characterised by its
performative, textual and image-based nature. As an activist community worker, she actively
engages with her local community, using her art as a catalyst for social change.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Tani Dulay
Dulay is the CEO of Woodbourne Group as well as the visionary behind Woodbourne Ventures,
an early capital and pre-seed accelerator fund that supports ambitious fellow entrepreneurs. He is
also the driving force behind Curzon Wharf, the £360m, world’s first mixed-use net zero carbon
Lifetime Achievement Award: Shashikant K Vekaria
Vekaria is the co-founder and Chairman of Vascroft Contractors Ltd, with over 50 years of
expertise in the construction field. He has helped organise and deliver Prime Minister Modi’s
events in the UK and Europe and has constructed numerous luxury hotels, community buildings
and high-end residential projects in and around London and the home-counties.
Media: Anila Dhami
Dhami is an award-winning presenter and journalist whose career spans ten years at some of the
biggest media companies, also freelances with C5 News, ITV London and LBC. Anila covers local,
national and international news; interviews MPs, experts and celebrities; and provides the space
for people to share their stories. She is the Ambassador of charities Barnardo’s and Binti.
Professional of the Year: Dr Nikki Kanani
Dr Kanani is a GP and Medical Director of Primary Care for NHS England and NHS Improvement.
She was Chief Clinical Officer of NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group. Nikki has held a
range of positions within healthcare to support the development of innovative models of care, and
highly engaged clinical, patient and public leadership. She is a member of The King’s Fund
General Advisory Council and co-founded STEMMsisters, a social enterprise supporting young
people to study science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.
Special Award for Contribution to Music: Kanika Kapoor
Kapoor is a singer born and raised in Lucknow and her debut music video ‘Jugni Ji’ in 2012 was a
commercial success. In 2014, her Bollywood playback singing career launched with ‘Baby Doll’
from Ragini MMS 2. After topping the charts, Kapoor received wide critical acclaim and accolades
for her singing style, including the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer. Since then,
she has sung many hit songs including ‘Lovely’ from Happy New Year and ‘Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan’
from Roy. Kanika has also been a judge on the Indian reality show of The Voice and runs her
fashion brand named ‘Kanika Kapoor: House of Chikankari’.
Sports Personality of the Year: Hamzah Sheeraz
Sheeraz is a British professional boxer and with an undefeated professional record, he has won all
18 of his fights with an impressive 18 victories coming by knockout. Hamzah holds the WBO
European light-middleweight title, which he has successfully defended since 2019. He was
awarded the 2021 British Young Fighter of the Year award.
Uniformed and Civil Service: Salman Desai BEM
Desai is the Deputy CEO and Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Transformation for the North
West Ambulance Service. Salman joined the Ambulance Service in 1997 as a Paramedic. From
2007 to 2015 he was Head of Service Development, undertaking a number of roles transforming
services for patients. In addition to this, he provided Commander Support in response to the
Cumbria shooting and flooding (2010/15). Representation from ethnic minority communities is
traditionally low in the ambulance sector and Desai has worked hard to redress the balance.
Woman of the Year: Dr Lalitha Iyer
Dr Iyer is the Chief Medical Officer for NHS Frimley, as well as a Queen’s Award winner for
inspirational voluntary work with ethnic communities. She has over 25 years of hospital experience
looking after women as an obstetrician and gynaecologist, followed by a career change as a GP.
Lalitha was the leader of the COVID-19 national pilot in Slough, targeting the reduction of deaths
in ethnic communities, followed by a national roll-out saving thousands of lives. This combination
of experience has made her acutely aware of the impact of language barriers, deprivation and
cultural aspects on the health and well-being of women.
About Asian Achievers Awards
Established in 2000 and held annually since then, the Asian Achievers Awards are organised by
global advisory firm EPG and are consistently recognised by the South Asian community as the
most definitive and respected such Awards for the community in the calendar. Before this year, the
Awards had raised more than £3.5m for charitable causes. Find out more at