Club Asia’s owners named start-up business stars


Every year HSBC scours the UK looking for the most innovative and dynamic new businesses and today two sisters, who have brought a unique blend of ?Asian cool? to London?s airwaves, have scooped the coveted HSBC Start-Up Star 2005 title and a ?20,000 top prize.

Sumerah Ahmad and Humerah Khan, the founders of radio station Club Asia, beat off stiff competition from nine other finalists, and an original field of hundreds of the UK?s most talented new entrepreneurs, to win the HSBC accolade this evening in front of 300 top business men and women at London?s Savoy Hotel, last night.

Sumerah Ahmad (31) and Humerah Khan (34) – both British born Asians ? impressed the judges with their dynamism, enthusiasm and business acumen to win this year?s HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards, the UK?s biggest awards recognising the most promising fledgling firms less than three years old.

The two sisters from Barking launched ?Club Asia? in September 2003 after finding themselves constantly switching between mainstream and Asian radio channels, looking for entertainment that suited their varied tastes. They knew they represented a large sector of the community and decided to take on the establishment by launching their own radio station to fill the gap in the market.

According to a release to BizAsia, HSBC said; “They developed the brand of Club Asia, representing a young, fresh, progressive Asian lifestyle, then set about winning a highly sought-after London radio licence. Their application was detailed, professional and well researched enough to impress the Radio Authority, which awarded them the licence against seven other operators ? including radio giants such as Chrysalis.”

?Club Asia is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when a combination of creative flair, determination and sound business planning is used to plug a gap in the market with a successful new business. We help over 100,000 new firms open their doors for business every year and hope that by highlighting Club Asia?s success we can inspire other budding entrepreneurs to take the plunge and go it alone.?
– Simon Wainwright, head of business banking, HSBC Bank

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