Interview with Paul Sagoo, The Asian Awards

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The much talked about ‘Asian Awards’ take place in London on Tuesday 26th October and to coincide with the event BizAsia.co.uk spoke to one of the organisers, Indian businessman, Paul Sagoo about what we can expect from the night.

Tell us a bit about the Asian Awards?
The Asian Awards, in partnership with Lebara, reward outstanding achievement from within the Asian Diaspora internationally. Open to those born in or with direct family origin from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan or Bangladesh, The Asian Awards recognise exceptional success across all disciplines of life from business to the arts, culture, philanthropy, sport and public service.

How are the Asian Awards going to differ to other award nights?
The Asian Awards differ fundamentally in three different ways.
Firstly, our judging process was the most rigorous and credible of all judging process. It started with an independent research panel who worked tirelessly to produce the long list of outstanding achievers across eleven categories without any regard to international borders, i.e. The winner could come from anywhere as long as they had heritage in the south Asian subcontinent. Then this list was handed to a further independent panel of experts across all fields who shortened it to 3 nominees. Finally, our elite endorsement panel, consisting of the UK�۪s foremost minds in each discipline, such as Lord Sugar and Dame Kelly Holmes, concluded our winners. The whole process was governed by the House of Lords and chaired by Baroness Verma.

Secondly, we wanted to create an event that is truly befitting of Asian excellence at a global level. Therefore the quality of the Asian Awards is, by any standard, unsurpassed. We have worked on making sure that every detail has been thought of meticulously, from the food on the night, the beverages served, the entertainment and the production. All world class and on par with any international event. One of our motto�۪s is ���Meeting Excellence with Excellence�۝ and we believe we have achieved that.

Finally, the quality of our winners are truly irrefutable. There are many award ceremonies in the UK which award members of the community and people who have contributed to some degree. We applaud these awards but what is missing is honouring those people who can provide the rest of us Asians with the exposure to make the western audience sit up and take notice. All of our winners are household names for that very reason and truly live up to one of our other mottos which is “Honouring Asian Excellence”.

What do you plan to achieve with the Asian Awards?
Fundamentally, we would like to achieve recognition for the winners from a global audience, much like the Oscars or the Grammy�۪s. We would like for The Asian Awards to be the pinnacle event globally for any Asian. We would also like to not limit the awards to just the UK, eventually we would like to take it to other countries such as the US, India, Canada and even the UAE. This will create the global-platform from which all Asians can benefit and also be immensely proud of.

There are twelve award categories for the Asian Awards, how were the nominees shortlisted?
As per the above judging process already highlighted.

The list of celebrity guests attending the event is looking bigger than any other, who has been confirmed so far?
There are many people confirmed to attend and too many to name but people such as A R Rahman, Sachin Tendulkar, Vijay Mallya and Yash Chopra have all agreed to support this event. We have a number of surprise attendees too who, as of yet, have not been listed. This will be a very special treat for those people who are attending in person.

The amount of support the Asian Awards has had from popular personalities has been immense, how does that make you feel?
I think its testimony to the old adage, “if you build it, they will come”. We have started with the utmost professionalism and will continue to do so and I believe that this represents a refreshing change to a number of our VIP supporters hence why they feel the difference with this event and more importantly want to get involved. Personally, I decided to create this because it had to be done, there was a massive gap in the market and it frustrated me, all I can say is that it is my privilege to fill it.

Final words…
This event is not about me or the team with me, it�۪s about Asians and giving us a platform to all raise our game. In raising our game we (Asians) will show the world what we have done and what we can do to make the world a better place for all. I encourage people to attend the event and see how history is made.

Full details of The Asian Awards can be found here.

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