20Hinduja brothers reaffirm their position as the Wealthiest Asians in the UK as they maintain strong lead in this year’s Asian Rich List

London, 21 March 2016    Asian entrepreneurship and business success were honoured Friday evening 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 H.E Mr Navtej Sarna, saw the newly appointed Indian High Commissioner honour the outstanding business achievements across industries. The High Commissioner paid tribute to the dedication and hard work of the business community and also unveiled the Asian Rich List 2016.

In what is usually a closely fought battle for the top spot on the annual listing of the UK’s 101 richest south Asians, the indomitable Hinduja brothers seem to have firmly knocked all their potential competitors out of the ball park, with an overall increase in their net worth of £1billion, taking them to a total net worth of £16.5 billion.

Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal remains at number 2, but has seen a significant drop (£3.3bn) in his fortune down to £6.4 billion, largely as a result of torrid time faced by the steel industry over the past couple of years, aggravated and perhaps even caused by very cheap imports from China.

In what has been another tough year for the economy, this year’s Asian Rich List, published by Asian Media & Marketing Group (AMG), Britain’s biggest Asian publishing house, on

18th March, shows the combined overall net worth of the 101 millionaires rising by just over £1 billion to reach a staggering £55.5 billion.

The Asian Rich List which was first published by AMG in 2010 has been a strong indicator of the success and invaluable contribution of the south Asian community to the UK economy. In 2010, the total combined net worth of the 101 millionaires was £40 billion, whilst this year it sits at £55.5 billion. The entry level back in 2010 was a mere £18 million, whilst this year the lowest entries are valued at a staggering £65 million.

This year’s highest new entry (at number 5 and with a valuation of £2 billion), Cyrus and his wife Priya Vandrevala, who is also an enterprising businesswoman, have certainly made a splash in London as the capital’s premier British Indian power couple. Since his arrival in London from America in 2008, Cyrus Vandrevala has continued to raise funds in the west for profitable investment in India’s booming real estate and construction sectors, especially in and around Mumbai, the country’s commercial capital, through his company, Intrepid Capital Partners (ICP). ICP describes Cyrus as “a leading international venture capitalist, entrepreneur and philanthropist.”

1860 of the 101 millionaires have seen an overall increase in their net worth, 22 maintain their net worth, whilst only 12 see a drop in valuation, with steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal experienced the largest drop of £3.3 billion.

81 year old Sir Anwar Pervez of Bestway Cash & Carry has seen the largest growth (second to the Hinduja’s) in his fortune with a £600 million increase, taking his overall net worth to £1.7 billion. The much respected bus-conductor turned wholesaler now spends much of the year in Dubai, which acts as a central point between the UK and Pakistan, where he still actively manages and runs the United Bank and Bestway Cement, whilst his son Dawood handles the UK operation.

With the entry point for this year’s list being set at £65 million, it’s hard to expect any ‘young guns’ to earn their way on to the list. However, these entrepreneurs are nothing if not determined, and whilst the list features eight octogenarians who are still actively running their multimillion pound companies, there are two 30-somethings who have battled their way on to the list.

33 year old Nitin Passi, founder of Missguided, is not only one of the youngest entrepreneurs on the list, but also a new entry and number 96 with a net worth of £65 million.  The online fashion retailer targets women between 16 and 25 in 80 countries around the world. It recently launched a concession in Selfridges and has built a 250,000 square foot warehouse in Trafford Park, which is due to begin use this year.

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 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. These dynamic entrepreneurs, many of whom came here with nothing but the clothes on their back, have built multi-million pound businesses and are an inspiration to us all.”

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. 2016 is no different – whilst 2015 saw Prime Minister David Cameron courting the great and the good, this year’s event saw London Mayoral candidates Zac Goldsmith MP and Sadiq Khan MP take part in a Q&A session for a chance to impress some of the most influential London voters.

Taking part in separate Q&A sessions at the gala awards ceremony, which was attended by a host of dignitaries and peers including: Neil Coyle MP, Lord Andrew Feldman, Rt Hon Sir Simon Hughes, Dame Asha Khemka, Seema Malhotra MP, Rt Hon Priti Patel MP and Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, the candidates spoke of their commitment to business and the economy and paid tribute to the immense impact that the Asian community has had on the country and London in particular:

Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith MP said: “I want to pay tribute to the huge contribution Asian businesses and entrepreneurs have made to our country’s economic success.

It’s easy to forget, but when the Conservatives took office in 2010, we inherited the worst recession in 100 years from Labour. Thanks to the difficult decisions we took and the hard work of business owners and entrepreneurs like those here today, we now have one of the strongest economies in the world and record numbers of people in work.

As Mayor, I would stand-up for businesses and continue to work with the government to build on that success and power London forward. In Jeremy Corbyn however, Labour have the most anti-business leader in living memory which is why I believe it would be a disaster for business and our economy if we end up with a Labour Mayor of London in May.” 

Sadiq Khan, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London, said: “Asian businesses make a hugely important contribution to our city.  From small businesses to the City, the innovation, skill and resilience of the Asian business community is part of what makes London great. I’m delighted to be attending the awards tonight.”

The Asian Business Awards have been recognising outstanding business talent for the past 6 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 2016 are just a handful of these amazingly dedicated, innovative and committed individuals.”

Winners as follows:

Healthcare Business Award supported by Bank of Baroda

WINNER: Haroon and Farouq Sheikh, Co-Founders CareTech UK

Restaurant of the Year

WINNER: Jyotin, Karam and Sunaina Sethi – JKS Restaurants

Young Entrepreneur of the Year supported by Lycamobile

WINNER: Rishika Lulla Singh, CEO Eros Digital

Regional Caterer of the Year

WINNER: Sanjay Foods

Venue of the Year

WINNER: Dallas Burston Polo Club

Entrepreneur of the Year supported by Edwardian Group London

WINNER: Mayank Patel OBE

Hotelier of the Year supported by HT & Co (Drinks) Ltd

WINNER: Shiraz Boghani, Chairman, Splendid Hospitality Group

Food & Drink Award supported by Sun Mark Limited

WINNER: Moni Varma, Chairman, Veetee Group International

Next Gen Award

WINNER: Day Lewis Next Generation

Editor’s Special Award

The Hon Angad Paul

Business Personality Award supported by Bristol Laboratories

WINNER: Salim Janmohamed, Chairman, Karali Group

Asian Business of the Year Award
WINNER: Kuljinder Bahia, CEO, Southall Travel

The Asian Rich List is released on 18th March 2016 and is the definitive guide to ultra-high net worth individuals and Asian Business success.