The UK Bangladesh Catalysts of Commerce & Industry (UKBCCI), paid tribute to the invaluable impact of the Bangladeshi community on the British Economy. Ten UK residents, from a diverse range of industries, were honored for their personal contributions and achievement, at the annual UKBCCI Awards, which took place in central London.
The UK Bangladesh Catalysts of Commerce & Industry (UKBCCI) Awards were launched in 2016 to not only celebrate the impact and contribution of the UK and Bangladesh Business and Industries finest to the UK’s economy, but to also highlight that the community can no longer be regarded simply as chefs or restaurateurs, and is successfully diversifying across a vast range of sectors, including banking, finance, medicine, and fashion.
There are in excess of 500,000 Bangladeshis in the United Kingdom today and they form an important part of this country’s fabric and economy. With a strong work ethic and great entrepreneurial zeal, throughout the decades, British Bangladeshis have formed businesses that have resulted in billions of pounds being contributed to the Exchequer. From the retail sector to distribution and transport, and from hotels to a very proud restaurant industry that has lovingly made curry a national dish, the community stands proud of its heritage. From Rushanara Ali MP, the first person of Bangladeshi origin to have been elected as a Member of Parliament to TV presenters such as Konnie Huq and Lisa Aziz, and from the only Bangladeshi professional footballer in England Anwar Uddin to the Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain and Baroness Pola Uddin, are just a few of the scores of British Bangladeshis making their mark on British society.
Five of this year’s ten UK winners are from the very heart of the Bangladeshi community in east London, although their reach goes well beyond the borough of Tower Hamlets, often known as Bangla Town and the traditional heartland of the community.
Bajloor Rashid MBE, President of UKBCCI said of the Awards: “Each year we aim to highlight the incredible impact of British Bangladeshi’s both here and internationally. We hope that the platform provided is used as an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of those that have worked hard to succeed and to build upon their success. Just as a beacon shines for others to follow.
As all communities search for their role models, the Bangladeshi community are proud of theirs and are indeed, like all catalysts, evoking and embracing change whilst remaining the same, grounded and proud of our roots and heritage, yet showcasing to the world, that be it in business and entrepreneurship, innovation or industry, we continue to see more and more members of the community power ahead and reach great heights across the variable and different professions and industry sectors.
These awards are inspirational and aspirational for the younger communities, who should be proud of their cultural heritage.”
A total of 12 categories will be honored at the event. The rest of the categories are Best New Business, Contribution to the Country, Business Woman of the Year, Business Innovation, Entrepreneur of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Inspirational Business Leader of the Year, Family Business of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Special Recognition and UKBCIS Directors’ Choice Award. The winners are in gradually Uji Matcha Energy Drink, Kazi Arif, Tasmin Lucia Khan, Prof. Parvez Haris, Rafael Choudhury, jointly Mamunar Rashid Chowdhury-Shermeena Rabbi, Shamimur Rahman Bashar, Bombay Palace, Mr. Mohammed Mahtabur Rahman or Al Haramain Perfume Group in Dubai, Janomot Newspaper and Channel S television station
Finally, Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Syed Manzur Elahi. Who is the Founding Chairman of Mutual Trust Bank Ltd. (MTB) and Pioneer Insurance Company Limited and currently serving as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the bank. Mr. Elahi is the Chairman of Apex Group, a leading business conglomerate in Bangladesh, and has won various awards for his contributions to trade and industry.
Besides being an eminent industrialist, he was also appointed Adviser to the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh, twice (1996 & 2001), for his leadership qualities, professionalism and non-partisanship.