Asian Professional Awards: Asian achievements celebrated


The Asian community now makes up over 8% of the British population, and contributes extensively to a number of areas of national life. The contributions from the Asian community are essential for our growing economy, with studies showing that Asian Business contributes up to 10% to the GDP of our country.

Last week, OBV had the privilege to attend the launch of the Asian Professional Awards (APA) at Westminster hosted by Kate Hoey MP. We were joined by a number of guests including Keith Vaz MP, Lord Ahmed of Wimbledon, Pauline Latham MP and members from a range of professions from Technology to Dentistry.

Hoey began the event declaring how, “wonderful it is to have these Asian Professional Awards.”  She added:

The Asian community has contributed so much over the years, very much I think unsung, because they have just got on, especially the older generation, with hard work and not expected to have recognition. Tonight is about saying that it's time that this country recognises the valuable contribution the Asian community has made to our country over many years.”

Lord Ahmed, who took his seat in the House of Lords in 2011, said:

As we look across both houses, you look in the fields of law, science, medicine, every field; you’ll see the British Asian community flourishing. This is due to the great sentiment, commitment and great perseverance, that the first generation of the Asian community came to this country with, often arriving with very little to their name, but with the commitment to make Britain their own."

These awards are a great way to show the remarkable success and contributions the Asian Community have made to Britain. Jasvir Singh, practicing Barrister and Director of the Asian Professional Awards told OBV how important it was to celebrate the contributions of the community. He added:

Asians have made massive contributions to life in the UK, there are the efforts that were made in the great war almost 100 years ago right through to the present day, you see it in a range of sectors from music and culture through to charity work, massive contributions being made by Asians and this is the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge them."

Him and many others believe that the awards are necessary to provide role models for generations to come. Pritti Kaur told OBV how she lacked a role model growing up, and now being a lawyer she believes that these awards are crucial in order to provide role models for the younger generation.

Guests were also joined by Keith Vaz MP, who explained how the generations have changed, and how we now have Asians in every sector. Vaz stated how important these awards are to empower the next generation. He said:

the material things don’t matter, what matters to them is to be able to walk through that door that has been opened and to achieve great things."

He recalled how there are still many challenges left for the Asian community to overcome, especially when targeting higher positions. Vaz told the guests that:

changes have been made however it is taking too long. No one is going to offer you power, this is something you have to ask for because if you do not ask, you do not get.”

On 27th November this year, the judge’s panel will be giving awards to members of the Asian community who excel and have made great contributions in their professional careers. So if you believe someone deserves an award for their success, please go onto the APA website below and nominate them.

Roshni Vekereya