Nitin Sawhney


MUSICIAN Nitin Sawhney, entrepreneur Vijay Patel and barrister-turned-restaurateur Nisha Katona are among prominent British Asians named in the New Year Honours List unveiled tonight (28).

Sawhney, who most recently composed music for the Warner Bros/ Netflix film Mowgli, is an accomplished producer, songwriter and performer. He scored the music for the 2017 film, Breathe, starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, and has previously worked with Sanjeev Bhaskar on the hit series, Goodness Gracious Me.

He has been named as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, while Patel, who set up Waymade Pharmaceuticals with his brother Bhikhu, becomes an officer of the Order of the British Empire. He was honoured for his services to business and for his philanthropic efforts.

Patel told Eastern Eye: “I am hugely humbled to receive this award. From a young age my mother taught us to give back and always put others first.

“I never imagined I would be recognised for my charitable work, but am honoured to receive the this accolade.”

The Shanta Foundation set up in honour of Vijay and Bhikhu Patel’s mother has a presence in Kenya, Uganda India and the UK. It will open the new Waymade Critical Care hospital in Karamshad, Gujarat, on January 24. The brothers have invested £1 million in the 125-bed hospital.

Vijay and Bhikhu Patel

Earlier this year, Vijay and Bhikhu Patel donated £1m each to their alma maters; Vijay donated £1m to DeMontfort University in Leicester where he qualified as a pharmacist and Bhikhu gave £1m to Bristol university where he studied architecture.

Vijay sold his company in 2012 for £367 million and was valued at £785 million in the Asian Rich List 2018

Katona, who gave up her career in law and set up Mowgli restaurants, has written three books and appeared on a BBC programme showcasing Indian food last year. She has been honoured with and MBE for her services to the food industry.

Nisha Katona

Rosie Kaur Ginday, an entrepreneur from the Midlands, set up Miss Macaroon, which also trains young people gain skills in the industry. She has been named as a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Rosie Kaur Ginday

A total of 1,148 names appear on the New Year honours list, 12 per cent of whom are from a BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) background.

Former England skipper Alastair Cook has been bestowed a knighthood, while football manager Gareth Southgate has been honoured with an OBE and captain Harry Kane now has an MBE.

A vast majority (70 per cent) of this year’s recipients have been honoured for their services to the community. Among them are

  • Jain scholar Vinod Kapashi (OBE)

  • Sukhjeev Sandhu, diversity in business, London (OBE)

  • Abul Kalam Azad Choudhury (MBE)

  • Dr Saroj Duggal (MBE)

  • Tony Lit of Sunrise radio (MBE)

Around nine per cent of honours are for work in education, while one in 10 names is a recognition for those with working in the economic or industrial sectors.

  • See Eastern Eye’s edition of January 4 for details of Asian honours in the list.