Winners List: 21st Asian Achievers Awards

Veena Patel



The 21st annual Asian Achievers Awards took place in London which saw leading South Asians from across the UK honoured for their contribution to building British society.

The event was hosted by ‘Eastenders’ actor Nitin Ganatra alongside Pakistani Balu Mahi actress Ainy Jaffri Rahman, with more than 500 attendees from business, entertainment, and public service.

Amongst the winners was WBC silver middleweight champion, Hamzah Sheeraz, coming hot off the 18th knockout of his career the previous weekend. In an exceptionally difficult time for healthcare workers in the UK over the last few years with the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost-of living crisis and historic pay disputes, the night saw three NHS workers win coveted awards.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Shashikant K Vekaria

Indian singer Kanika Kapoor was bestowed with the ‘Special Award for Contribution to Music’ honour as her songs have been streamed nearly 200 million times just on Spotify. She said: “After more than a decade in the film and music industry, I am delighted to receive this special recognition at the Asian Achievers Awards. With the Prime Minister of the UK himself commending these Awards, it gives me great pleasure to be in a room full of change-maker.”

Special Award for Contribution to Music: Kanika Kapoor

Music composer Jasdeep Singh Degun was commemorated for his ‘contribution to the Art and Culture’ category, Dr Harren Jhoti FRS OBE won the ‘Business Person of the Year’ award for being at the forefront of British science and innovation, particularly his leadership in discovering and developing drugs in oncology and diseases of the central nervous system. Other victors included Tani Dulay as ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, artist and photographer Poulomi Desai for ‘Community Service’, and ITN presenter Anila Dhami in the ‘Media category’. For his work in the British real estate industry and the charitable sector, the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ trophy went to Shashikant K Vekaria.

Pratik Dattani, Managing Director of EPG, said: “The last year was a watershed for South Asians in the UK. Leaders of the government or main political parties in Westminster, Scotland, Ireland and London are all from a South Asian heritage. It was important for this year’s Awards to recognise the gems in our community across the country. Our community is leading the way in helping Britain to level up, something sorely needed in a cost-of-living crisis.”

Winners List

Art and Culture
Jasdeep Singh Degun

Business Person of the Year
Dr Harren Jhoti FRS OBE

Community Service
Poulomi Desai

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Entrepreneur of the Year
Tani Dulay

Lifetime Achievement Award
Shashikant K Vekaria

Anila Dhami

Professional of the Year
Dr Nikki Kanani

Special Award for Contribution to Music
Kanika Kapoor

Sports Personality of the Year
Hamzah Sheeraz

Uniformed and Civil Service
Salman Desai BEM

Woman of the Year
Dr Lalitha Iyer