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Top 20 Richest Asians & 2017

2017-06-05 02:35 [BANK] Source:Netword
Guide:Today The Daily Telegraph reveals the wealthiest British Asians working in the UK.

The Asian influence on British business is staggering. From the entrepreneurial types such as the Jatania brothers, to Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin at the helm of a FTSE 100 company, and now Asian companies stalking their European rivals, this vast continent is making its presence felt at every level of UK plc.

The figures alone tell quite a story. Asian-owned businesses in London have a turnover of about £60bn a year, while real Asian wealth increased by 69pc between 1998 and 2005, compared with UK GDP up just 23pc.

Today, in conjunction with Eastern Eye, Britain's biggest selling south-Asian newspaper, The Daily Telegraph publishes details of Britain's richest Asians.

The list includes people with companies based in the UK who do all, or a significant amount, of their business here. Wealthy Indians based in the UK but whose business interests are largely overseas are excluded - hence the absence of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and the Financial services business of the Hinduja brothers.

The list appears ahead of the glittering Eastern Eye Asian business awards, being held tonight at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

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Spinder Dhaliwal, of the University of Surrey, who complied the list, says: "What I find exciting is the bravery of it all. You see these entrepreneurial heroes. They never stand still, they are all going forward. It's that pace, that inner confidence. We've been here three decades. There is no inherited wealth on the list. They have really used their business acumen and broken through a lot of barriers and prejudices."

The majority are true "rags to riches" stories. Mike Jatania and his three brothers, who run cosmetics giant Lornamead and top the list for the fifth year running, came to Britain from Uganda in 1969 when Asians were expelled from the country by Idi Amin.

Kamel Hothi, the Asian markets director for Lloyds TSB, says these difficult beginnings can spur individuals to great things. "Indians who were chucked out of Uganda or South Africa, when families suffer that loss, that mindset of having no option but to succeed - that really pushes and drives you."

The four brothers are now worth £850m, having built a business buying unwanted brands from the multinationals and relaunching them with a marketing push in New areas.

Vijay and Bhikhu Patel (3rd, £500m), who run the Waymade Healthcare company, tell a similar story. Born into poverty in the western highlands of Kenya, the brothers are now easily recognisable from their various appearances on television and their portraits hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Vijay said: "I never want to go back to living in poverty. That has been the biggest stimulus for me to get on in life and succeed. I kNew I couldn't get any lower than where I have been."

The pair opened their first pharmacy in 1975. They now supply and distribute branded and generic drugs internationally and have created a subsidiary to develop and launch New drugs.

Ms Hothi sees this as a natural progression for Asian businessmen and women. "When you have glass ceilings, the best thing is self-employment, so the best thing to do is to start your own corner shop," she said. "That is the path for entrepreneurship. Then pharmacy is the next best thing when children come back from university and want to use their degrees, and then franchises."

But in terms of sectors, hoteliers have overtaken pharmaceuticals to dominate the list. Jasminder Singh and his family (5th, £360m) have built one of the largest privately owned hotel chains in Britain, the Edwardian Radisson Group.

Firoz Kassam (9th, £240m) heads the Firoka Group of companies, which includes the Holiday Inn in King's Cross.

Traditional industries still have their place on the list. Lord Swraj Paul and family (2nd, £750m), and Nat Puri and his family (13th, £130m) both head traditional Asian conglomerates.

Lord Paul, who is also an active member of the House of Lords, chairs the Caparo Group, which spans steel, engineering, materials testing, hotels and the Caparo Innovation Centre. A combination of packaging, paper, engineering, textiles and plastics made Mr Puri into Nottingham's richest man.

Elsewhere, Asian businessmen and women are taking those traditional industries to a New level. The Asian interest in the textiles industry, for example, has evolved into fashion.

Tom Singh (6th, £350m) built the new Look fashion chain after borrowing £5,000 from his parents to open his first shop. Rival Shami Ahmed and his family (15th, £115m) have built the Joe Bloggs label into a global brand.

But the list is devoid of any active internet entrepreneurs. Dinesh Dhamija (14th, £120m), who headed internet travel agency ebookers for several years, sold it to Cedant in 2004 and is now focusing on his private equity firm, India Gate Partners, which raises money to invest in Indian companies.

Family is the overwhelming theme running through the list, with only three of the top 20 entrants appearing as individuals.

Consequently, the majority of businesses on the list are privately owned, but Ms Dhaliwal says this is now changing.


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