A LEADING corporate boss, a prominent mental health advocate and a lawyer to the stars were among winners at this year’s annual GG2 Leadership Awards in London on Thursday evening (10).
Nitin Paranjpe, chief operating officer at Unilever, one of the world’s most renowned consumer goods companies, scooped the top honour – the coveted GG2 Hammer Award – for his efforts in blazing a trail for diversity.
Businessman Viswas Raghavan, chief executive of JPMorgan for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was honoured with the GG2 Man of the Year award, while City Mental Health Alliance founder Poppy Jaman OBE scooped the Woman of the Year.
Ayesha Vardag, who is commonly labelled as ‘Britain’s Top Divorce Lawyer’, won the GG2 Outstanding Achievement in Law award. The founder and president of law firm Vardags specialises in high-net-worth divorce, often with an international or celebrity element.
The event, now in its 21st year, celebrates Britain’s most enterprising and talented black, Asian and minority high achievers.
The evening also saw the launch of the GG2 Power List 2020, a ranking of the 101 most influential British Asians.
Chancellor Sajid Javid, who topped the GG2 Power List for the second year in a row, was the chief guest at the awards ceremony. He told guests that he was honoured to be recognised on the GG2 Power List for the second time.
“I am proud to live in a Britain where anyone can become Chancellor, whatever their background,” he said. “Each person on this year’s Power List has their own story to tell, but the example they set to young Asian women and men is helping to create a better and brighter future for Britain.
“I commend and congratulate them all.”
Following Javid, home secretary Priti Patel and campaigner Gina Miller ranked in the list in second and third place, respectively.
In total, 14 awards were presented on the night.
Among the winners were:
Randeep S Lall, the co-founder of Nishkam SWAT, a voluntary international humanitarian aid organisation; Caucher Brikar, professor of mathematics at Cambridge University; and scientist Kriti Sharma, the founder of AI For Good.
BBC radio presenter Nihal Arthanayake was the presenter of the awards ceremony while the multi-awarding winning classical group Ayoub Sisters were on hand to entertain to the audience.
The event also saw charitable support for the Isha Foundation and the Cauvery Calling initiative, which aims to revitalise one of the most important depleting rivers in south India – the River Cauvery.
Earlier in the day, the GG2 Diversity Conference heard from a range of speakers about race, identity and the gender pay gap, among other issues.
Delegates included author and thought leader Matthew Syed; Dawn Butler MP; AC Neil Basu and Ravi Chand CBE.
Copies of the GG2 Power List are available to purchase, to order a copy, call Saurin Shah on 020 7654 7737 or email [email protected]
Full coverage of the GG2 Leadership Awards will be featured in next week’s Eastern Eye (October 18)
Full list of GG2 Leadership Award winners
GG2 Spirit in the Community Award sponsored by Royal Navy
Eartha Pond, Educator & Councillor, QPCC
GG2 Young Journalist of the Year sponsored by The Daily Mail
Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe, Editorial Graduate, Liverpool Echo
GG2 Media & Creative Arts Award sponsored by Hearst
Mohit Bakaya, Controller, BBC Radio 4 & Radio 4 Extra
GG2 Inspire Award sponsored by British Army
Cemal Ezel, Founder and CEO, Change Please
GG2 Achievement through Adversity
Nicki Donnelly, Motivational Speaker, Life Coach and Disability Rights Consultant
GG2 Young Achiever Award sponsored by Royal Air Force
Kriti Sharma, Founder, AI For Good Ltd
GG2 Outstanding Achievement in Science
Caucher Birkar, Professor of Mathematics, University of Cambridge
GG2 Outstanding Achievement in Law
Ayesha Vardag, Founder and President, Vardags
GG2 Social Entrepreneur Award
Randeep S Lall, Co-founder, Trustee and Global Operations Director, NishkamSWAT
GG2 Pride of Britain Award
Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, Emeritus Professor of Nursing, University of West London
GG2 Icon of the Year
Ozwald Boateng, designer
GG2 Woman of the Year sponsored by Edwardian Hotels London
Poppy Jaman OBE, Chief Executive Officer, City Mental Health Alliance
GG2 Man of the Year sponsored by Sun and Sand
Viswas Raghavan, Chief Executive Officer, EMEA, J.P. Morgan
GG2 Hammer Award
Nitin Paranjpe, Chief Operating Officer, Unilever