New Asda owners, the Issa brothers, among prominent businessmen recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours’ List


Zuber (left) and Mohsin Issa
Zuber (left) and Mohsin Issa

Businessmen, frontline healthcare staff as well as charity workers and volunteers are among Asians in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours’ List, whose publication in June was delayed in order to recognise “unsung heroes” of the coronavirus pandemic.



Billionaire brothers Zuber Vali Issa and Mohsin Issa, who last week acquired Asda from Walmart in a deal worth more than £6 billion, have been made Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). The siblings, from Blackburn, founded petrol station operator EG Group nearly two decades ago which has grown exponentially, with interests in the UK and US.

Carehomes entrepreneur Farouq Rashid Sheikh has been honoured with a Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Farouq Sheikh (left) with brother Haroon at the Eastern Eye Asian Business Awards.

In an interview with Eastern Eye, the founder of CareTech said, “I felt quite humbled. It was unexpected. But it is something which I feel is deserving of the team that’s worked with us and recognition for some of the work we do in social care, which is supporting some of the most vulnerable in our society. And, frankly, that was not possible without the people that work with us in CareTech.



“We are part of a family and part of a team that has worked so hard – we’ve been going for over 27 years now. It’s a recognition for the good work that the company has done.”

Businessman Anant Meghji Pethraj Shah, who with his older brother Vipin founded Meghraj Bank, the first private Indian bank in the UK, serving the Indian community, is a recipient of the OBE for his services to education, health and animal welfare.

Anant Shah

Nairobi-born Shah, who attended the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), has devoted the past two decades to philanthropy and charitable activities. The family’s MP Shah Cancer Hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, is among India’s leading cancer hospitals and more than 11,000 doctors have been trained at the MP Shah Medical College in Jamnagar, also in Gujarat.



This year’s list is the most diverse ever, with 13 per cent of recipients being from an ethnic minority background.

A total of 1,495 honours have been bestowed, of whom 414 are recognised for their “exceptional contributions” in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among them is Londoner Dabirul Islam Choudhury, honoured with an OBE.



Choudhury drew inspiration from Captain Tom Moore and started walking in his garden to raise funds for charities.

The 100-year-old, who began walking in April, had a target of £1,000, but ended up raising £228, 315 as he continued his efforts even during Ramadan. The money was distributed to victims of Covid-19 in the UK, Bangladesh and other countries.

Healthcare and social care workers comprise 14 per cent of the honours list and in the World Health Organisation’s Year of the Nurse and Midwife, 41 nurses and midwives have been recognised by the Queen.

CareTech’s Sheikh said, “This is the biggest crisis or pandemic I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, both personally and businesswise, so it is rather special to receive it at this time.”

His company is known for services to specialist social care.

“A lot of staff worked beyond the call of duty to look after the young people that we support, beyond what they would normally be doing,” he said.

Among other Asians recipients are fitness instructor Lavina Mehta and “the Skipping Sikh” Rajinder Singh Harzall who receive MBEs for encouraging elderly people to stay active in lockdown.

Mehta provided workout sessions free of charge for Asian community groups, with her 72-year-old mother-in-law, in Gujarati and English.

Asda employee Imran Rashid Dawji, 24, received an MBE in recognition of his work in establishing a recruitment process that enabled the supermarket to hire an additional 25,000 temporary staff during the pandemic.

Imran Dawji

Dawji, from Batley, West Yorkshire, said, “It was a pivotal time to ensure everything was close to perfect as we had a duty to ensure support was provided to everyone around the country.”

His colleague Faisal Tuddy, Asda house superintendent pharmacist, ethics and compliance,

received a British Empire Medal for his work in the local community.

At the height of the pandemic Tuddy played a key role in creating a contingency plan so that Asda could continue to serve its customers and ensured that the retailer could keep each of its 254 pharmacies open as coronavirus spread through the country.

Faisal Tuddy

He created a prescription delivery service from scratch, in a little under two weeks, which included establishing the process, recruiting temporary drivers, briefing all our pharmacy colleagues and communicating to customers about the service.

He said, “I feel honoured and humbled to be accepting the British Empire Medal, it’s a testament to the incredible work of all our pharmacy teams in stores and the support of my head office colleagues. They have all really pulled together to go above and beyond to look after our patients when they needed us the most.”

Of those who have been awarded, 72 per cent of the successful candidates are those who have worked “tirelessly for their local community”, whether it was supplying millions of meals free of charge to those shielding, delivering care packages to NHS frontline workers or doing volunteer work to support those at risk.

Professor Iqbal Singh OBE FRCP is chair of the Centre of Excellence in Safety for Older People (CESOP) and a member of the Cabinet Office Honours Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He told Eastern Eye, “Covid 19 has had a huge disproportionate impact on BAME doctors, nurses, health and care staff. It is important and fitting that their contributions are recognised.

“Honours are given to people of all walks of life and sections of society who have made a difference to their community. The system is committed to ensuring that the awards represent the diversity of our populations. I would encourage Eastern Eye readers to nominate people, who they may be aware of, for these honours.

“We have done a number of workshops and meetings with BAME doctors and hard to reach groups in getting this message across.”

Other prominent recipients who are recognised for a wide range of other contributions to society are food writer and broadcaster Mary Berry and actress Maureen Lipman who have both been made a dame and a knighthood for actor David Suchet.

The full honours list will be published at www.gov.uk/honours/honours-lists

Full list of British Asians recognised: 

Order of the British Empire

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire

Farmida BI

Chair, Norton Rose Fulbright (Europe, Middle East and Asia). For services to Law and charity

(London, Greater London)

Katharine BIRBALSINGH

Founder and Headmistress, Michaela Community School. For services to Education

(London, Greater London)

Zuber Vali ISSA

Co-Founder, EG Group. For services to Business and charity

(Blackburn, Lancashire)

Mohsin ISSA

Co-Founder EG Group. For services to Business and charity

(Blackburn, Lancashire)

Mohammed KHAN OBE

Leader, Blackburn with Darwen Council. For services to Local Government

(Blackburn, Lancashire)

Professor Yadvinder Singh MALHI FRS

Professor of Ecosystem Science, University of Oxford. For services to Ecosystem Science

(Oxford, Oxfordshire)

Neeta PATEL

For services to Entrepreneurship and Technology

(London, Greater London)

Members of the Order of the British Empire

Members of the Order of the British Empire

Sufina AHMAD

Director, John Ellerman Foundation. For charitable service particularly during Covid-19

(London, Greater London)

Hans AHMED

Sessional Muslim Imam, Her Majesty’s Prison/Youth Offenders Institution Brinsford. For services to Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service during Covid-19

(Wednesbury, West Midlands)

Harmohinder Singh BHATIA

For services to Race Relations in the West Midlands particularly during Covid-19

(Smethwick, West Midlands)

Zahid Hussain BHATTI

Managing Chaplain, Her Majesty’s Prison Wormwood Scrubs. For services to Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service during Covid-19.

(London, Greater London)

Dr Sarbjit CLARE

Deputy Medical Director, Clinical Lead Acute Medicine, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust. For services to the NHS during Covid-19

(Birmingham, West Midlands)

Sandeep Singh DAHELEY

For services to the Sikh community during Covid-19

(London, Greater London)

Imran Rashid DAVJI

Human Resource Administrator, Asda Ltd. For services to the Covid-19 response

(Batley, West Yorkshire)

Jatinder Singh HARCHOWAL

Chief Pharmacist and Head of Quality Improvement, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. For services to the Pharmaceutical Profession particularly during Covid-19

(London, Greater London)

Manvir HOTHI

Social Worker, Hammersmith and Fulham Council. For services to Social Care particularly during Covid-19

(Biggleswade, Bedfordshire)

Oli KHAN

For services to the Hospitality Industry and charity in the UK and Abroad particularly during Covid-19

(Luton, Bedfordshire)

Sanjeev KUMAR

For services to the BAME community during Covid-19

(Luton, Bedfordshire)

Lavina MEHTA

For services to Health and Fitness during Covid-19

(Watford, Hertfordshire)

Mohamed OMER

For services to the British Muslim community during Covid-19

(London, Greater London)

Reza RAHNAMA

Director, Core Voice Services, BT. For services to Telecommunications during the Covid-19 response

(London, Greater London)

Dr Gurjinder Singh SANDHU

Consultant, Infectious Diseases, London North West University NHS Trust. For services to the NHS during Covid-19

(Slough, Berkshire)

Chandni SEJPAL SHAH

For services to the community in North West London during Covid-19

(Bushey, Hertfordshire)

Dr Carter SINGH

General Practitioner. For services to Healthcare in Nottinghamshire particularly during Covid-19

(Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire)

Rajinder SINGH HARZALL

For services to Health and Fitness during Covid-19

(London, Greater London)

Vinod Bhagwandas TAILOR

For services to the community in Bedfordshire during Covid-19

(Luton, Bedfordshire)

Ashraf UDDIN

For services to the St John Ambulance during the Covid-19 response

(Chelmsford, Essex)

Shanika AMARASEKARA

General Counsel, British Business Bank. For services to Business and the Economy

(London, Greater London)

Neeta Avnash Kaur ATKAR JP

Non-Executive Director, British Business Bank. For services to Small Business Finance

(Marlow, Buckinghamshire)

Rashida BAIG

Head of Service, London Borough of Croydon. For services to Child and Family Social Work and Race Equality

(Slough, Berkshire)

Yadvinder BOLINA

Lately Area Communications Manager, Crown Prosecution Service, West Midlands. For services to Law and Order

(Birmingham, West Midlands)

Islamuddin CHOWDHARY

Barrister. For services to the Legal Profession in London

(London, Greater London)

Khadija Buke COLL

For services to Diversity and Equality in Scotland
(Glasgow, Glasgow)

Dr Bijna Kotak DASANI

Executive Director, Morgan Stanley. For voluntary services to Diversity and Inclusion in Finance

(Leicester, Leicestershire)

Selvarani ELAHI

Deputy Government Chemist. For services to Food Measurement Science

(Walton-On-Thames, Surrey)

Aurangzeb FAROOQ

Mentor, North West Regional Leadership Group, Mosaic. For services to Young People in Manchester

(Manchester, Greater Manchester)

Manjit Kaur GILL

Founder, Binti. For services to the Provision of Menstrual Products to Women in Developing Countries, the UK and the US

(Weybridge, Surrey)

Pushkala GOPAL

Dance Teacher. For services to South Asian Dance

(Chigwell, Essex)

Dilip Kumar GURUNG

For services to the Nepalese community in the UK and Abroad

(Blackpool, Lancashire)

Rita HINDOCHA-MORJARIA

Executive Principal and Director of Secondary Education, Mead Educational Trust. For services to Education

(Leicester, Leicestershire)

Councillor Mohammed IQBAL

Member, Pendle Borough Council and Lancashire County Council. For services to Local Government in East Lancashire

(Nelson, Lancashire)

Farrah KHAN

Head, Service Delivery, Children’s Services, Leeds City Council. For services to Children and Families

(Wakefield, West Yorkshire)

Nasir Ahmed KHAN

Co-Founder, Muslims in Rail. For services to Muslim Representation in the Rail Industry

(Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire)

Parminder Kaur KONDRAL

Co-ordinator, UK Sikh Healthcare Chaplaincy. For services to the Sikh community

(Ilford, Essex)

Dr Ibrar Mohammed MAJID

For services to Healthcare and Community Development in Manchester

(Stockport, Greater Manchester)

Sajjad MIAH

For services to the community in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets

(London, Greater London)

Asgher MOHAMMED

Managing Director, Abbey Chemist, Paisley and Founder, Scottish Sadaqah Trust, Glasgow. For services to Pharmacy and charity

(Glasgow, Lanarkshire)

Vasant PATEL

Senior Policy Officer, Department for Education. For services to Adopted Children and their Families

(Mirfield, West Yorkshire)

Hemantkumar Kiritbhai PATEL

Lately Trustee and Interim Chair, Royal Armouries. For services to Museums and Heritage

(Ingmanthorpe, North Yorkshire)

Tamara RAJAH

For services to Technology and Entrepreneurship

(London, Greater London)

Baljeet Kaur SANDHU

Founder, Centre for Knowledge Equity. For services to Equality and Civil Society

(London, Greater London)

Diane Marie SARKAR

Chief Nursing Officer, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Nursing in the NHS

(Chelmsford, Essex)

Jayantilal SHAH

Founder, Positive Message Ltd. For services to promoting Anti-Racism in Southampton and Hampshire

(Southampton, Hampshire)

Qaisra SHAHRAZ

Founder, Curator and Executive Director, Muslim Arts and Culture Festival. For services to Gender Equality and Cultural Learning

(Manchester, Greater Manchester)

Mawlana Mohammed Tayyab SIDAT

Founder, IMO Charity. For charitable services

(Blackburn, Lancashire)

Julie SIDDIQI

Founder, Sadaqa Day. For services to Promoting Inter Faith Understanding

(Slough, Berkshire)

Gurpreet SINGH

Non-Executive Director and lately Consultant Urologist, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust. For services to Healthcare, Equality and Fairness

(Southport, Merseyside)

Kiruba SRI SHANMUGANATHAN

Executive Support, Department for Exiting the European Union. For public service

(London, Greater London)

Syed Afsar UDDIN

Teacher of Bengali, Oaklands Secondary School. For services to Education and the community in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets

(Ilford, Essex)

Officers of the Order of the British Empire

Professor Ramesh Pulendran ARASARADNAM

Consultant Gastroenterologist, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. For services to the NHS during Covid-19

(Stamford, Lincolnshire)

Dabirul Islam CHOUDHURY

For charitable service during Covid-19

(London, Greater London)

Ali GHORBANGHOLI

Co-Founder and Director of GoodSam. For services to Volunteering during the Covid-19 response

(London, Greater London)

Ganeshalingam SUNTHARALINGAM

President, Intensive Care Society & Consultant, London North West University Healthcare. For services to the NHS during Covid-19

(London, Greater London)

Abu AHMED

Head, Local Delivery and Communications, Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, Home Office. For public service

(London, Greater London)

Dr Deesha CHADHA

Co-Chair, Faiths Forum for London. For services to Faith communities

(London, Greater London)

Herminder Kaur CHANNA JP

Principal, Ark Boulton Academy. For services to Education

(Birmingham, West Midlands)

Yasmine CHINWALA

Partner, New Financial, HM Treasury. For services to the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter

(London, Greater London)

Muhammad Naveed IDREES

Headteacher, Feversham Primary Academy, Bradford. For services to Education

(Halifax, West Yorkshire)

Danny JEYASINGAM

For services to Governance and Devolution

(London, Greater London)

Ali Akbar MOHAMMED

Founder and Trustee, Ansar Finance. For services to Finance and charity

(Manchester, Greater Manchester)

Dr Sanjiv NICHANI

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Healing Little Hearts. For services to Medicine and charity

(Leicester, Leicestershire)

Mehri NIKNAM MBE

For services to Jewish-Muslim Inter Faith Relations
(London, Greater London)

Alpesh Bipin PATEL

Founder, Praefinium Partners. For services to the Economy and International Trade

(London, Greater London)

Sarabjit Singh PUREWAL

Principal Specialist Inspector, Health and Safety Executive. For services to Health and Safety and to Cyber Security

(Stockport, Greater Manchester)

Luthfur RAHMAN

Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Manchester City Council. For services to Local Government

(Manchester, Greater Manchester)

Imran RASUL

Professor of Economics, University College London. For services to Social Sciences

(London, Greater London)

Ahmereen REZA

Founder and Trustee, Developments in Literacy Trust, and Director, Conservative Friends of Pakistan. For public and political service, and Interfaith Work

(London, Greater London)

Professor Nilay SHAH FREng

Professor of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London. For services to the Decarbonisation of the UK Economy

(London, Greater London)

Anant Meghji Pethraj SHAH

For services to Education, Health and Animal Welfare

(London, Greater London)

Farouq Rashid SHEIKH

Founder, CareTech. For services to Specialist Social Care

(London, Greater London)

Mohammed Nizam UDDIN

Senior Head, Mosaic, The Prince’s Trust. For services to Social Mobility and Community Integration

(Barking, Essex)

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire

Ibrar AKRAM

Service Delivery Manager, Transport for London. For service to Transport and the community in London during Covid-19

(London, Greater London)

Dr Mahaboob BASHA

External Relations and Engagement Manager, Energy Safety Research Institute, Swansea University. For services to the community in Sketty, Swansea during Covid-19

(Swansea, West Glamorgan)

Rita CHOHAN

For services to the NHS during Covid-19

(Swansea, West Glamorgan)

Dr Hareen DE SILVA

For services to General Practice during Covid-19

(London, Greater London)

Ahmud Raza DOMAH

General Manager, Hill House Care Home. For services to Social Care during Covid-19

(Watford, Hertfordshire)

Theivandiram JEEVATHASAN

For services to the community in Graffham, West Sussex during Covid-19

(Petworth, West Sussex)

Rani KAUR

Food Services Assisant, J Sainsbury’s plc. For services to the community in Bedfordshire during Covid-19

(Bedford, Bedfordshire)

Hasnain Qamar Rashid Bhatti KHAN

Medical Student Volunteer Co-ordinator. For services to Healthcare in South Yorkshire during Covid-19

(Nuneaton, Warwickshire)

Mustafa Kemal KOKSAL

Supervisor, First Buses. For services to the community during Covid-19

(York, North Yorkshire)

Vajid MAHMOOD

PPM Strategy and Implementation Lead, NHS England and NHS Improvement. For services to the NHS during Covid-19

(Bury, Greater Manchester)

Manju MALHI

For services to the community in London during the Covid-19 response

(London, Greater London)

Nilima RAHMAN

Bank Employee, Virgin Money. For services to the Financial Services Sector and the community of South Shields during Covid-19

(South Shields, Tyne and Wear)

Ajitha SAJEEV

Street Population Manager, Newham Council. For services to the Vulnerable and Homeless in Newham during Covid-19

(London, Greater London)

Shagufta SHAMIM

For services to the community in Grangemouth during Covid-19

(Grangemouth, Stirling)

Neeraj Kumari SINGADIA

Branch Manager, Lloyds Banking Group. For services to the Financial Sector and the community in Birmingham during Covid-19

(Birmingham, West Midlands)

Faisal TUDDY

Superintendent Pharmacist, Asda Ltd. For services to the Pharmaceutical Sector during Covid-19

(Leeds, West Yorkshire)

Mohammed AZIZ

Chief Inspector, Bedfordshire Pol

(Luton, Bedfordshire)

Amolak Singh DHARIWAL

CFO Global Supply Management and Service Operations, Sodexo. For services to Business

(Langley, West Midlands)

Hera HUSSAIN

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chayn. For services to charity

(Manchester, Greater Manchester)

Parbir Kaur JAGPAL

Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, University of Birmingham. For services to Diversity and Inclusion in Health

(Birmingham, West Midlands)

Sufu MIAH

For services to the community in Oswestry, Shropshire

(Oswestry, Shropshire)

Kurshida MIRZA

Volunteer Organiser, Great Get Together Iftar and Truby’s Garden Tea Room (Inter Faith Cafe). For services to Inter Faith and Community Cohesion in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

(Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire)

Parminder Singh PUREWAL

Director, The Normandy Hotel. For services to Hospitality in Renfrew

(Bearsden, Glasgow)

Farzaneh SAADAT

Manager, Cecil Court Residential Home. For services to Older People with Dementia

(George Green, Buckinghamshire)

Parveen SAJID

For services to Vulnerable People in Lebanon and to the community in Glasgow

(Glasgow, Glasgow)

Dr Satyavir SINGHAL

For services to the community in Belfast

(Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim)

Rina SURJAN

For services to the BAME community in Greater Manchester

(Oldham, Greater Manchester)

Bharat THAKRAR

For voluntary and charitable services in the UK and Abroad

(Harlow, Essex)

Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Emma Natasha WALMSLEY
Chief Executive Officer, GlaxoSmithKline.

For services to the Pharmaceutical Industry and Business

(London, Greater London)

Knights Bachelor 
Knighthoods

Professor Nasser David KHALILI, Philanthropist.

For services to Interfaith Relations and charity
(London, Greater London)

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire

QUEEN’S POLICE MEDAL ENGLAND AND WALES

Chief Inspector Manjit Kaur ATWAL, Leicestershire Police.

Constable Rani Kaur GUNDHU, West Midlands Police.

Sergeant Mohammed NAJIB, West Midlands Police.

DIPLOMATIC SERVICE AND OVERSEAS LIST MBE

Jamil MALIK, Consular Manager, British Consulate General, Toronto, Canada. For services to British nationals in Canada

Farhana Haque PROMA, Pro-Consul, British High Commission, Dhaka, Bangladesh. For services to British nationals in Bangladesh

Indira RAO, Assistant Legal Adviser, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. For services to British foreign policy

ORDER OF ST MICHAEL AND ST GEORGE CMG

Paul CHAKRAVATI, Deputy Director, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. For services to national security