Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham, an excellent venue for sport and business is no stranger to seeing people bowled out and others bowled over. The second chapter in the story of Signature Awards was penned on Friday and like the best novels, left readers hungry for more.
Signature Awards celebrates the success stories of Asian Professionals in the region. For a community recognised for their business acumen, the new generation is making headlines in professional roles. Lets not forget, many of these professional roles are incorporated in business. Signature Awards is a product of this evolution.
Signature Awards is headed up by Ninder Johal, President of The Black Country Chamber. Ninder, mindful of John Longworth’s sharp exit from the British Chambers after sharing personal opinions on the EU in a public forum, opened the awards evening making no such mistake. It would have been an easy way of creating a media storm and with Ninder about to complete his tenure at the Chamber, could afford to inject a little controversy. Oscar Wilde once commented ‘there’s only one thing worse than people talking about you, and that’s people not talking about you.’
There was a impressive array of local influence in the room. Movers, Shakers and even a popular macaroon maker, Rosie Ginday, owner of Miss Macaroon.
Paul Bassi CBE, one of the world’s sharpest minds in property spoke at the event. He was bullish about the outlook of Brum’s residential market which he suggested would move upwards from it’s current £300 a square foot to £500 a square foot in light of recent announcements from HSBC and HS2. When Paul speaks, investors listen.
Paul described his humble beginnings and explained it isn’t harder to get on the property ladder or launch a business now, adding ‘if you have a sound business plan, the investors can be found.’
Tommy Sandhu, BBC Asian Network’s Breakfast presenter injected his infinite energy reserves into the evening. Me and Toastmaster Raaj Shamji grabbed a Cobra Beer with Tommy backstage whilst starters were being served. I told Tommy our team’s, West Brom (me) and West Ham (him) encounters would be a derby game in a decade once HS2 is operational. Birmingham is zone 5 on London’s Underground map in a post HS2 world.
Tommy shared with me the challenges of getting up at 4am to present the breakfast show. He’s an extremely intelligent guy, after only one rehearsal at Signature Awards, he was good to deliver the show. Super sharp mind, in a super sharp suit.
And what of the award winners themselves, Chan Nandhray kicked of the walk of fame winning Excellence in Finance. Anurag Singh won Excellence in Law and Kavita Bachada demonstrated the old adage that perseverance is always the secret of success. Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Mr Sewa Singh Mandala, who received a standing ovation for his contribution to the community. An inspired choice and one I was personally delighted to see.
The one to watch and winner of Young Professional was Jatinder Paul of Irwin Mitchell. Jatinder is a rising star in the region, he often represents his firm on local and national media. Accompanied by family, friends and work colleagues, Jatinder clearly illustrates the importance of a support network in the pathway to success. Jatinder also wears his LoveBrum badge with pride.
Thank you to the judges who worked tirelessly in the background ensuring worthy finalists and winners.
A massive thank you to Signature Awards for choosing LoveBrum as the charity of the night. Chair Tim Andrews was accompanied by BBC’s Phil Upton in explaining how LoveBrum casts a spotlight on projects in the city region. LoveBrum’s band of Brummies, who pay £20 a year for membership vote on which project they want their money to go to.
A huge thank you to all who helped raise £2500 to help LoveBrum support the work it does. More about this and a remarkably kind gesture by Paul Bassi soon.
If you missed Signature Awards, try and attend Nachural’s next event, The Summer Business Gala Dinner and Awards on Friday 15th July 2016 at the Wolverhampton Racecourse.
By this date, the EU Referendum will be settled, we’ll know who the Regional Mayor candidates are and how England have fared in the Euro Finals. We’ll also be in a position to see if the new President of Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Rogers, has successfully taken on the crown or should I say turban.
Information for sponsorship and table booking at Summer Business Gala Dinner: firstname.lastname@example.org, follow on twitter @ninderjohal and on Linkedin and Facebook
LoveBrum membership: lovebrum.org.uk, follow on twitter @LoveBrumUK
Enjoy the images from Signatures Awards 2016:https://www.flickr.com/photos/jassansi/albums/72157665747337806
Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Greater Birmingham, and a trustee of LoveBrum.