• Thursday, July 25, 2024


Lord Gadhia scoops top honour at GG2 Leadership Awards

The event also saw the unveiling of the GG2 Power List, which profiles the country’s 101 most influential and powerful south Asians in Britain

Lord Jitesh Gadhia with the GG2 Hammer Award at the annual GG2 Leadership and Diversity Awards

By: Sarwar Alam

Lord Jitesh Gadhia, chairman of the British Asian Trust, was recognised for over three decades of public and community service with the GG2 Hammer Award at the annual GG2 Leadership and Diversity Awards, held at the Park Plaza hotel on Tuesday (5).

After coming to Britain as a refugee from Uganda at the age of two, Lord Gadhia has gone on to lead King Charles’s charitable foundation’s projects in south Asia. He has also been a confidant to prime ministers, cabinet ministers and some of the most senior people in the country.

Lord Gadhia collected his award in front of the chief guest of the evening, prime minister Rishi Sunak, who said, “there is so much for us to celebrate. I’m proud of our diversity as a nation”.

The event also saw the unveiling of the GG2 Power List, which profiles the country’s 101 most influential and powerful south Asians in Britain, with Sunak topping the rankings for a third year in a row.

“I love the GG2 awards – and what an honour it is to be at the top of this phenomenal list,” the prime minster told those in attendance.

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Nureen Glaves collects the GG2 Achievement Through Adversity Award

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the GG2 Leadership and Diversity Awards celebrate the achievements of Britain’s ethnic minorities. They are hosted by the Asian Media Group, publishers of Garavi Gujarat and Eastern Eye news weeklies, as well as Asian Trader and Pharmacy Business magazines.

AMG group managing editor, Kalpesh Solanki, said: “These awards were created in 1999 to celebrate and recognise achievements of all ethnic talent, especially those who have broken through glass ceilings and succeeded through adversity.

“These awards are a show case of the diverse talent in modern Britain and how with hard work and sincere endeavour we can achieve great success.

“Diversity is critical as it leads to better outcomes. It helps us learn about others and helps us inform and shape our outlook. But more importantly diversity is essential in creating a just and equitable society.”

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Tharshiny Pankaj (C) with Shailesh Solanki (L) and Kalpesh Solanki after collecting the GG2 CEO of the Year Award

In all, there were 24 awards presented on the evening.

The Subpostmasters caught up in the Post Office Horizon scandal collected the GG2 Spirit in the Community Award for the courage they showed to clear their names after they were wrongly accused of theft and fraud.

The GG2 Ram Solanki Beacon Award in honour of the late founder and editor-in-chief of the Asian Media Group was presented to an inspiring individual for their exceptional contribution to Britain and ethnic communities.

The award’s recipient, Lord Navnit Dholakia, in nearly three decades in the Upper House, has been one of the most active peers, selflessly working for his community and those most in need by participating in all areas of policy.

With International Women’s day on Friday (8), it was fitting that a number of remarkable women were recognised for their achievements.

Sabah Choudhry of Sky News who has led the news agenda on major news stories, including the tragic death of ten-year-old Sara Sharif in August last year, with other outlets following her interviews and analysis, took home the GG2 Young Journalist of the Year Award.

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Kamila Hawthorne with the GG2 Woman of the Year Award

The GG2 Inspire Award went to Jaswant Kaur Narwal, a chief prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), who was recognised for keeping diversity and inclusion on the agenda and making a positive impact through her work – an inspiring role model for other young, ambitious, and diverse lawyers everywhere.

Nureen Glaves shared her incredible personal journey of not letting being partially blind and deaf hold her back in creating Food Me Good, which provides communities with healthy, nutritious and delicious food.

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Kiran Patel with the GG2 Man of the Year Award

Glaves set up Food Me Good to improve the health of marginalised communities through nutrition and wellbeing, especially young people and those in the community who struggle with feeding themselves properly. With some help from the Prince’s Trust and through training, Glaves has blazed a trail helping the nation to get healthy alongside raising her own family and overcoming her physical disadvantages.

She received a huge ovation as she collected the GG2 Achievement Through Adversity Award.

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Kalpesh Solanki, group managing editor of Asian Media Group, speaks at the event

The winner of the GG2 CEO of the Year Award went to Tharshiny Pankaj, CEO and Academic Registrar of Regent College, London.

Pankaj her husband, Selva, have transformed lives through their ‘Thinking into Character’ concept which guides their approach to education and was first developed as the two charted their way out of employment towards financial independence.

The Sri Lankan-born executives literally put their ideas about transformative, lifelong and dedicated learning into practice –translating it into structured learning for others – and the results have been spectacular. Regent Group is one of the fastest growing educational bodies in the UK, and the plan is now to take their concept abroad.

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The winners pose for a photo

Kamila Hawthorne, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Council was named the GG2 Woman of the Year.

Hawthorne has been a practitioner and also training young GPs for almost 35 years and has led pioneering research projects looking at health inequalities, diabetes and heart disease, while twice being named GP of the year for her work with minority ethnic communities.

The GG2 Man of the Year Award went to professor Kiran Patel, group chief medical officer, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

Despite being a consultant and a much-in-demand cardiologist, Patel also possesses a wealth of experience in managerial roles. He is a recognised leader who has done much work on health inequalities, and back in 2020 he prescribed the very first covid-19 vaccine.



GG2 ED&I Initiative Award

WINNER: Mondelez

GG2 Advertising Agency of the Year


GG2 Marketing Campaign of the Year

WINNER: Media Reach

GG2 Diversity Champion of the Year

WINNER: Emma Locke, Change & Communications Lead, Europe – PEAK, Perfetti Van Melle UK

GG2 Diverse Employer of the Year

WINNER: Bestway

GG2 ED&I Excellence in Law


GG2 Police Force of the Year

WINNER: Thames Valley Police

GG2 NHS Trust of the Year

WINNER: North West London University Healthcare Trust

GG2 Bank of the Year

WINNER: State Bank of India

GG2 Ram Solanki Beacon Award

WINNER: The Rt Hon. the Lord Dholakia OBE DL

GG2 Spirit in the Community Award supported by Royal Navy

WINNERS: Sub Postmasters

Seema Misra

Vijay Parekh

Vipin Patel

Hasmukh Shingadia

GG2 Young Journalist of the Year supported by Daily Mail

WINNER: Sabah Choudhry, Sky News correspondent, Sky News

GG2 Business in the Community Award

WINNER: Vraj, Kamal and Sunil Pankhania, Westcombe Group

GG2 Inspire Award supported by Bestway

WINNNER Jaswant Kaur Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor, Crown Prosecution Service

GG2 Achievement Through Adversity Award

WINNER: Nureen Glaves, CEO & Founder, Feed Me Good

GG2 Young Achiever Award supported by the Royal Air Force

WINNER: Nahjae Nunes, Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC)

GG2 Social Entrepreneur of the Year

WINNER: Koolesh Shah, Founder, Koolesh Shah Foundation

GG2 Outstanding Achievement in Medicine Award supported by RandalSun Capital

WINNER: Dr Hadi Manji MA MD FRCP, Consultant Neurologist and Associate Professor, University College London

GG2 CEO of the Year

WINNER: Tharshiny Pankaj, Co-founder and CEO of Regent Group

GG2 Blossom Award supported by RHS

WINNER: Bixley Fields Allotments

GG2 Embrace Award supported by National Trust

WINNER: Jaffer Kapasi OBE, Managing Director & Consul General of the Republic of Uganda

J.A.Kapasi & Co. Ltd

GG2 Woman of the Year supported by Westcombe Group

WINNER: Professor Kamila Hawthorne MBE, Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners

GG2 Man of the Year supported by The Fairview Hotel Collection

WINNER: Professor Kiran Patel, Group Chief Medical Officer, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

GG2 Hammer Award in association with pladis

WINNER: Lord Jitesh Gadhia

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