Pinnacles of British Asian achievement honoured at UK’s most longstanding Celebration of global contribution, now in its 20th year
The shortlist for the prestigious, annual Asian Achievers Awards has been announced and it features business executives, Hollywood actresses and music stars that have found fame across the world. Winners will be announced at the coveted ceremony on Friday 23rd September at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.
South Asians in the UK today occupy leadership positions across a range of fields, including politics, business and civil society. The Awards recognise the outstanding work of such individuals from across the South Asian community. Now in its 20th year, Asian Achievers Awards is recognised as the most prestigious and longstanding celebration of the leading figures of the UK’s South Asian community and their achievements, initiated by public nominations. Established in 2000, the Awards return in 2022 following the pandemic, hosted by global advisory firm, EPG, and supported by media partners, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samchar, Zee TV and Sunrise Radio.
Across ten categories including Art & Culture; Business Person of the Year; Entrepreneur of the Year; and Community Service, Asian Achievers Awards received more than 500 nominations, from which the judges shortlisted four per category, evenly divided between male and female candidates.
Included in the business names in the shortlist are Namit Malhotra, the Indian CEO of visual effects company, DNEG, which has won seven Oscars; as well as Shamil and Kavi Thakrar, co-founders of iconic restaurant chain, Dishoom.
Dr Zareen Roohi Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of Gift Wellness, championing an award-winning range of natural products, while Dr Debashis Bhattacharya is a surgeon by training and currently the Global Director of Human Risk Management at Reckitt. Fellow shortlisted candidate, Samir Desai, founded Funding Circle in 2009, with over £13.7bn of loans provided to more than 122,000 businesses since inception.
Also amongst the shortlist is Rt Hon Suella Braverman, British politician, barrister and Attorney General for England and Wales. Captain Harpreet Chandi, a 32-year-old, Indian-origin British Sikh army officer and physiotherapist, also known as ‘Polar Preet’, has created history by becoming the first woman of colour to complete a solo, unsupported trek to the South Pole. Chandi also features on the list. Alongside them are Karenjeet Kaur Bains, the first female Sikh powerlifter to represent Team GB; and Mercury Prize-winner, Charli XCX, who started writing songs at just 14 years old.
Asian Achievers Awards 2022 full shortlist:
Art and Culture:
Simone Ashley (Actor)
Chandra Chakraborty (Music Artist)
Namit Malhotra (CEO, DNEG)
Charli XCX (Music Artist)
Business Person of the Year:
Dr Debashis Bhattacharya (Director, Reckitt Benckiser)
Shamil and Kavi Thakrar (Co-founders, Dishoom)
Praveen Karadiguddi (CEO, Scrumconnect Consulting)
Dr Gordon Sanghera (Co-founder, Oxford Nanopore)
Dr Zareen Roohi Ahmed (Founder & CEO, Gift Wellness)
Haris Kiani (ADA Ventures Scout)
Katharine Moana Birbalsingh CBE (Head Teacher)
Krishna Pujara (CEO, Enfield-Saheli)
Dev Trehan (Sky Sports; Creator, South Asians In The Game)
Entrepreneur of the Year:
Shamash Alidina (Learn Mindfulness)
Samir Desai CBE (Founder & CEO, Super Payments)
Shahid Munir (Co-founder, Minted)
Sherry Vaswani (Founder & CEO, Xalient)
Raj Baddhan (CEO, Lyca Media)
Ahmed Hussain (Head of Station, BBC Asian Network)
Aasmah Mir (Broadcaster)
Naga Munchetty (News Presenter)
Professional of the Year:
Dr Manu Agrawal (South Staffordshire LMC)
Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian (University of Cambridge)
Naina Bhattacharya (Danone S.A.)
Viresh Paul (Paul & Co)
Sports Personality of the Year:
Karenjeet Kaur Bains (Team GB Female Powerlifter)
Salma Bi (Grassroots Cricket Champion)
Millie Chandarana (Blackburn Rovers Ladies Footballer)
Amir Khan (Professional Boxer)
Uniformed and Civil Service:
Alisa Ahmad (Civil Engineer)
Captain Harpreet Chandi (British Army Officer, ‘Polar Preet’)
Sal Naseem (Regional Director for London, IOPC, Tell Mama UK)
Woman of the Year:
Rt Hon Suella Braverman (Attorney General for England & Wales)
Rita Chowdhry (Poet & Novelist)
Emb Hashmi (Journalist)
Raga D’silva (Author, Tedx Speaker & LBTQ Advocate)
Lifetime Achievement Award:
To be announced on the night
The Judging Panel for this year’s Asian Achievers Awards was reflective of the diversity and experience of the nominations received. It includes Former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Bas Javid; Former President of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Dr Mayur Lakhani CBE; COO of Monzo Bank, Sujata Bhatia; music producer, Bally Sagoo; Welsh Assembly Member, Natasha Asghar; and Artistic Director of Darbar Festival, Sandeep Virdee OBE.
Pratik Dattani, Managing Director, EPG Says, “The Asian Achievers Awards aim to celebrate Asian excellence across the UK. They harbour a special place in the community, documenting our growth and contribution to life in the country over the last two decades. We have been impressed by the breadth and calibre of nominations from across the country that came in this year which show quite how extensive our positive contribution is across all aspects of British life.”
The awards ceremony will be interspersed with live performances on the night including Brit Award-nominee, Rumer; and star of TV’s Man Like Mobeen, stand-up comedian Tez Ilyas; with Lord Jeffrey Archer conducting the charity auction in support of the chosen Charity Partner, Pardada Pardadi.