The Signature Awards will celebrate the best in the professions and shine a spotlight on the work of those Asian professionals who have produced cutting edge thinking and have driven the professional market forward.
THE Signature Awards celebrated the strength of Asian professionals within the region in front of a capacity audience at Edgbaston Stadium.
The awards are the brainchild of Black Country Chamber of Commerce president Ninder Johal and returned for a second year on Friday night,
More than 460 people were in attendance to see the Lifetime Achievement given to Sewa Singh Mandla, who famously challenged a decision by a Birmingham head teacher to ban a student – Mr Mandla’s son, Gurinder – from wearing a turban.
The fight went all the way to the House of Lords (having generated a particularly dated view of discrimination from the Master of the Rolls, Lord Denning, in the Court of Appeal) where the court found that Sikhs were a racial or ethnic group, and therefore came under the protection of the Race Relations Act 1976.
The other award winners were:
Excellence in Finance: Chan Nandhray, West Bromwich Building Society
Excellence in Law: Anurag Singh, Gowling WLG
Excellence in Banking: Rav Bagri, Santander Bank
Young Professional of the Year: Jatinder Paul, Irwin Mitchell
Excellence in Business: Shahid Sheikh, Clifton Packaging
Excellence in Professions for Owner Practice: Ranjit Thaliwal, Thaliwal & Co Solicitors
Diversity Award: PEL Solicitors
Nachural founder Mr Johal spoke about the positive growth of the UK over the last 12 months but warned about the slowing down of the global economy and in particular the problems surrounding the Eurozone.
He also warned the region to collaborate and work together in order to safeguard funding for crucial issues such as transport infrastructure and local skills development.
Lovebrum was the charity on the night, with £2,500 raised. A further £4,000 was donated by guest speaker Paul Bassi on behalf of his restaurant Asha’s.
Host for the evening was Tommy Sandhu, a BBC presenter and the entertainment was produced by Gabhru Panjab De. The award sponsors were Birmingham City University, Brit Asia, BSJ Fixings, Cobra Beer, Divya Group, East End Foods, Hollywood Monster, Pathway Group, Rational FX, TheBusinessDesk.com, Vision and Wolverhampton University.