Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

© Asian Media Group - 2024


Rishi Sunak & Akshata Murty


BRITAIN’s first prime minister of colour Rishi Sunak is a self-confessed geek and wasn’t very naughty at school. He admitted as much to ITV’s Anuskha Asthana (see list no. 65) in a much more up close and personal interview than he usually does.

Screened earlier this year, she called him an “overachiever” in her written profile piece in the Times – any self-respecting Asian parent would tell you there is no such thing! And the bar is very high now for any ambitious south Asian youngster – you can’t get above the prime minister – unless you, perhaps, marry into the Royal Family.

More seriously, Asthana is right – head boy at Winchester, one of Britain’s most venerated public schools, first-class degree from Oxford, Fulbright scholar to Stanford in the US, a popular chancellor during Covid (when he created the furlough scheme) and now prime minister and any south Asian following in those illustrious political footsteps will only (always) be No 2 now. So what sort of man is Rishi Sunak – especially away from the rough tumble of politics and the pressures of leading a country?

A geek – his attention to detail is well documented. He reads and absorbs everything and often asks for more than he is given and is extremely diligent and hardworking. No doubt these are qualities most British south Asian households espouse – the refrain being that you have to work twice as hard as someone from a majority background to get to even the same place. All the while, Sunak had his eyes on the top post – elected to parliament in 2015 for the constituency of Richmond in North Yorkshire.

Many tipped him for the top but perhaps didn’t see how quickly it would all happen as some parts of the Conservative

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