H.E. Mr Y.K. Sinha, the Indian High Commissioner, Baroness Scotland QC, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Mrs Poonam Patnaik and H.E. Mr D. Patnaik, the Deputy Indian High Commissioner (from left to right)
The former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said he is proud to receive recognition for his work to cement relationships between the UK and India. Mr Cameron made his comments as he joined Rajesh Agrawal, Entrepreneur and Deputy London Mayor for Business in being honoured at The Indian Awards 2017 held in the Houses of Parliament on Thursday 22 June 2017.
The gala invitation-only dinner and ceremony featured senior business leaders, officials, opinion-formers, prominent members of the Indian community, guests from India and other parts of the World and marked the 70th anniversary of Indian independence as well as the current India-UK Year of Culture.
Keynote speeches were delivered by H.E. Mr Y.K Sinha, the High Commissioner of India to the UK, The Rt Hon Mark Field MP, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Rt Hon Baroness Scotland QC, Secretary General of the Commonwealth. The guests also heard from Virendra Sharma MP, Chair of the Indo - British APPG, Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, Chair of IBG and The Rt Hon Baroness Prashar CBE, Deputy Chair of the British Council.
The Awards ceremony was supported by a range of high profile partners, including the British Council, Chivas Brothers, HCL, the Institute of Directors, Taylor Wessing, Virgin Atlantic, State Bank of India, Zee TV and a recently-established charity - Catch Your Breath India - which was appointed as the official charity partner of the Awards.
During the ceremony, the India Business Group felicitated award winning Indian Punjabi singer, poet and actor Satinder Sartaaj (who plays the lead role in The Black Prince movie) in recognition for his work in promoting Indian cultural relations internationally. On request by the audience, Satinder Sartaaj performed his famous Sufi song ‘Sai’ which was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.
The Special Recognition Award which applauds ‘an individual’s outstanding commitment to building UK-India relations’ was presented to David Cameron by H.E. Mr Y.K Sinha, the High Commissioner of India to the UK at his London Office.
In a pre-recorded message to the ceremony, Mr Cameron said: “It is a huge honour to accept this award and I am absolutely passionate about the relationship between Britain and India. It is a relationship based on common interests, a relationship based on the extraordinary strengths of the British Indian Diaspora and Britons working in India. I am proud of the amount I have done to help build this relationship that is going to be so important for the future of both of our countries”.
The Indian Awards were founded by Amarjit Singh, Chief Executive Officer of the India Business Group (IBG) and an established thought leader on UK - India business affairs. They recognise UK-based individuals, businesses and organisations that have contributed to furthering the relationship culturally, socially or economically, between India and the UK.
“The India Business Group is delighted to present the inaugural Indian Awards initiative,” says Mr Singh. “The modern relationship between the UK and India is at a key juncture. Through The Indian Awards we aim to inspire and encourage the next generation of UK and Indian entrepreneurs, facilitators and bridge builders who will take the bilateral relationship to greater heights.”
THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
Larger Business Award - J.C. Bamford Excavators Limited
SME Award - Pavers Limited
Professional Adviser Award - Anuj Chande, Partner and Head of South Asia Group at Grant Thornton UK LLP
Entrepreneur Award - Rajesh Agrawal, Founder of Rational FX
Arts & Culture Award - Professor Sunil Khilnani, Director at King’s College London India Institute
Special Recognition Award - The Rt Hon David Cameron, Former Prime Minister of the UK
Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, Chairman of India Business Group said:
“This special initiative celebrates, for the first time, the efforts of outstanding organisations and individuals (based in the UK) who have worked over the years to strengthen the bond between the UK and India. This inaugural awards ceremony is a timely reminder about the mutually beneficial, evolving and special relationship between our two great nations.”
Dr David Landsman OBE, Executive Director of Tata Limited, and one of the judges for the awards said:
“Many people in both countries contribute to the growing India-UK relationship. The Indian Awards 2017 have succeeded in identifying some of those who have gone well beyond the day job to make a real difference. That’s what the relationship needs if it’s going to flourish and it has been an honour and a pleasure to be involved in a small way.”
Virendra Sharma MP, Chair of Indo - British APPG
“The Indian Awards 2017 is an important UK wide initiative for recognising entrepreneurs, inspirational people and organisations that have championed international cooperation between the UK and India. This is an opportune moment to celebrate the dynamic UK-India partnership, tying together both the 70th anniversary of India’s independence and the UK-India Year of Culture”.
The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth said:
“The Indian Awards 2017 are a welcome contribution towards raising awareness of the success and potential of Commonwealth connection. Acknowledgment of the achievements of individuals and businesses who are building on Commonwealth advantage, including bilaterally between the UK and India, encourages and inspires others as we work together to increase flows of trade and investment among Commonwealth countries.”
Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, one of the partner organisations for the awards said:
“The IoD is delighted to have participated in The Indian Awards 2017, particularly at a time when the UK needs to turn its idea of “Global Britain” into a tangible reality. Growing business and trade links between our two countries is essential as we prepare to exit the European Union.”
Notes to Editors
(1) The India Business Group (IBG) is a leading advisory consultancy that specialises in helping organisations develop bilateral trade and investment opportunities between the UK and India markets. It is globally recognised as having specialist expertise and regional know-how designed to support organisations with market entry and cross border business transactions.
(2) The Indian Awards 2017 comprise a handful of six elite awards, with the following categories to the awards: larger business (annual turnover greater than £100m); SME business (annual turnover up to £100m); individual entrepreneur award, professional adviser; arts and culture and special recognition. http://www.theindianawards.com