Asian entrepreneurship and business success were honoured last night (Friday 23rd March) at the Asian Business Awards, the annual gathering of the UK’s wealthiest and most successful Asian businessmen and women.
The gala event, attended by Dinesh K Patnaik, Deputy High Commissioner, High Commission of India, saw him honour the outstanding business achievements across industries. Mr Patnaik paid tribute to the dedication and hard work of the business community and also unveiled the Asian Rich List 2018.
The Asian Rich List which is published by Asian Media Group (AMG) shows the combined overall net worth of the featured 101 UK based millionaires has topped the £80.2 billion mark, (an increase of just under £11bn since last year), with the top 10 being valued at a total of £54.25 billion and representing 68% of the total figure.
For some, it may come as no surprise that the Hinduja family have secured their position once again at the top of the list, completing an amazing five-year run at the top, ahead of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.
While economic growth in the western worldwide has been sluggish, the Hindujas have had a robust 2017, adding a further £3 billion to their total net worth, taking them to an astounding total net worth of £22 billion.
The Hindujas trading empire is spread over five continents and run by four brothers and their children – a testament to their incredibly strong family values. The group has what GP Hinduja likes to call 10 ‘verticals’, spanning a variety of sectors and allowing true diversification.
This year’s list sees a new entry in the Top 10, with a jump of an astonishing 25 places to number 9 and an increase in total net worth of £1bn to a valuation of £1.3bn, for brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa. Their Lancashire-based company Euro Garages has grown from incredibly modest beginnings, with one slightly worn petrol station in Blackburn in 2001, a loan of £150,000 and then almost on a whim, a decision to put a decent shop inside it. Since then, they have never looked back and have become not only one of the foremost UK companies, through their Euro Garages outfit, but one of Europe’s leading concerns in this sector - as EG Group.
EG Group looks set to increase to more than 3,000 petrol stations across Europe - a new deal announced in January sees EG tying up with the Esso brand to increase their presence across the Benelux nations. The Group works with an incredible array of household brand names - from Greggs, Starbucks, and KFC to Carrefour (French supermarket giants), Louis Delhaize (a Belgian supermarket brand) through to oil majors, Shell, BP and Esso. It has brokered major deals with these retail concerns and global energy powerhouses, and is probably the no1 UK company doing this at home and abroad.
This year’s list sees Rajesh Ram Satiija of Sun & Sand Group, Zuber and Mohsin Issa and Tony, Raj & Harpal Matharu of Global Grange Ltd all making it to billionaire status, taking the total number of Asian billionaires to 12.
Rajesh Ram Satiija is the fifth highest riser in terms of net worth this year, with an increase of £390m. His mining to agriculture business spans three continents and comes in at £1.3bn. Satiija worked for an export business before starting out on his own, setting up an auto-parts business in Nigeria. He has a home in Mayfair and is now looking at a public floatation for his fast expanding group, where revenues have tripled over the last few years.
With the entry point for this year’s list being set at £90 million, it’s hard to expect any ‘young guns’ to earn their way on to the list. However, never to be outdone, this year’s youngest entry and a newcomer to the list is 36-year-old Nitin Passi, owner of one of hippest online fashion retailer ‘Missguided’. Valued at £100million and entering the list at number 90, Passi has broken into a hugely competitive, price sensitive and cluttered market, to create a household name amongst the 16-35-year-old demographic. Founded less than a decade ago, in March 2009, Missguided quickly grew from literally a one-man operation into an international online fashion giant. Keen to start his own company, Passi had the foresight to recognise that his future fortune would most likely be found online. That choice has since paid off immensely for Passi, with his company reporting sales in excess of £205m in 2017.
This year’s list also sees eight new entries with a combined value of nearly £1 billion, with the highest new entry, being at number halfway up the list at number 50! With a valuation of £200 million, Raj Manak of Akaal Ltd is surprisingly the only representative from the growing construction industry. Also entering the list for the first time is Leena Malde of Lotus Flower Holdings, one of three self-made women featured on the list, at number 97 and a valuation of £90 million.
One underlying theme of the list is the power of family. From the Hindujas in poll position and throughout the list, we see second generation children taking up the mantle from their parents, as well as strong sibling ties with successful familial businesses proving that the tradition of joint families within the south Asian community is a force to be reckoned with.
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: "The list shows the remarkable strength and diversity of Asian businesses in the UK. Despite the challenges of the general economy many business leaders in the community have seen opportunity and potential and moved quickly to capitalise. It is an inspiring picture and one that should energise entrepreneurs everywhere.
“What is doubly encouraging and reassuring to see is the high levels of philanthropy from the millionaires. Giving back to help the less fortunate is a cultural value and we are seeing foundations being launched and high levels of charitable donations to organisations both in their home countries and more importantly in the UK.”
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 is indicative of the both their financial and political impact. The Asian Business Awards have been recognising outstanding business talent for the past 21 years and this year’s winners were no exception – all outstanding within their respective industries.
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 2018 are just a handful of these amazingly dedicated, innovative and committed individuals.”
Restaurant of the Year Award 2018 in association with Zee TV WINNER: Shamil Thakrar, Dishoom
Food & Drink Business Award 2018 supported by Sun Mark Limited WINNER: Prakash Thakrar, HT Drinks & Co
Care Home Business of the Year 2018 in association with Citibond & Qatar Airways WINNER: Avnish Goyal, Hallmark Care Homes
Asian Business Bank of the Year 2018 in association with Eastern Eye WINNER: ICICI Bank
Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 in association with SBI WINNER: Shane Thakrar, HKS Holdings
Businesswoman of the Year Award 2018 in association with Premier by Brightsun WINNER: Zeenat Noon Harnal, Bombay Halwa
Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 supported by Edwardian Group London WINNER: Sanjay Vadera, The Fragrance Shop
Philanthropy Award 2018 in association with SME WINNER: Dawood Pervez, Bestway Foundation
Business Personality of the Year 2018 supported by Bristol Laboratories WINNER: Joginder Sangar, Mastcraft Group of Companies
Asian Business of the Year 2018 in association with Eastern Eye WINNER: Zuber & Mohsin Issa, Euro Garages Ltd
The Asian Rich List was released on 23rd March 2018 and is the definitive guide to ultra-high net worth individuals and Asian business success