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 saurin.shah@amg.biz

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