Celebrating excellence within the UK-India corridor

Celebrating excellence within the UK-India corridor

A Significant Contribution to UK-India Relations Award for Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India (SII) – behind the world’s best-known life-saving collaboration with Oxford/AstraZeneca for the COVID-19 vaccines – led a roll call of high-achievers honoured at the fourth annual UK-India Awards organised by India Global Forum in Windsor last week.

The UK-India Awards, hosted this year by the popular comedian Rory Bremner, celebrate all those companies, organisations and individuals working tirelessly to make the UK-India partnership a winning proposition across all sectors and marked the culmination of UK-India Week 2022.

“A relationship rooted in those enduring values of hard work, sacrifice, education, family, and service; but a relationship reimagined,” said UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, in his Guest of Honour speech at the glittering ceremony before presenting the award to Poonawalla.

“Where the brightest talent from both our countries travel back and forth to study and work. Where we are close trading partners on goods and services. And where we freely exchange world-class ideas and innovation. All as a partnership of equals,” he said, amid resounding applause.

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The UK-India Awards 2022 Winners include:

  • Legal Practice of the Year: CYRIL AMARCHAND MANGALDAS

  • Financial Services Organisation of the Year: ICICI BANK

  • Consultancy of the Year: GRANT THORNTON

  • Technology Firm of the Year Award: HCL TECHNOLOGIES

  • Investment of the Year Award: RELIANCE INDUSTRIES

  • New Market Entrant of the Year Award: TIDE

  • Business Promotion Organisation of the Year: WEST MIDLANDS INDIA PARTNERSHIP

  • Social Impact Project of the Year: AKSHYA PATRA FOUNDATION

  • Special Award for Contribution to UK-India Cultural Ties: KANIKA KAPOOR

  • Lifetime Contribution to UK-India Relations: BARONESS USHA PRASHAR

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Professor Manoj Ladwa, IGF Founder & CEO, said: “IGF seeks to open up opportunities of a new global India to the world through engaging the very best minds in the most incisive conversations and debates. It's about setting tomorrow’s agenda today!

“The last two years have been challenging. But with challenges come opportunities to reimagine our future partnerships and achieve that Quantum Leap that Prime Minister Modi has hailed as within our grasp. These awards are about celebrating that reimagining of the UK-India partnership.”

The UK-India Awards 2022 jury included:

  • Professor Soumitra Dutta, Dean, Said Business School, University of Oxford

  • Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Parliamentarian, House of Lords

  • Kate Hampton, CEO, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)

  • Harpreet Kaur, Winner of BBC Apprentice 2022, Owner, Oh So Yum

  • Andy Street, Mayor, West Midlands

About the Winners

Special Award for Contribution to UK-India Cultural Ties: KANIKA KAPOOR

For this special Chairman’s Choice Award, we celebrate a very special person who came to the UK, overcame adversity and is now an icon who through her enchanting voice enthralls millions. Kanika Kapoor was born and raised in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. From Mumbai to the UK in 1998, Kanika has straddled her music career between India and the UK, winning many accolades over the years, including for chart-topping and globally acclaimed tracks like ‘Baby Doll’ and ‘Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan’.

Lifetime Contribution to UK-India Relations: BARONESS USHA PRASHAR

One of the most coveted awards of the evening honours and celebrates a lifetime of contribution to public service and UK-India Relations. It takes dedication, perseverance, and courage to consistently stand up and be counted for what you believe in. Our Lifetime Contribution awardee is one such lady. Born in Kenya, Usha Prashar came to the UK in 1964 to study for her A-levels, before graduating in Politics & Sociology from Leeds University and obtaining a Masters degree from Glasgow University.

Now chair of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) in the UK, she provides wise counsel and guidance on matters of policy and opportunity to both governments and business leaders.

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Legal Practice of the Year: CYRIL AMARCHAND MANGALDAS

CAM as its widely now known, is India’s biggest law firm, led by the immensely respected Cyril Shroff.

No discussion on Indian business laws is complete without the CAM view. In the past year, CAM have been advising the UK Government on the ongoing Free Trade Agreement negotiations with India.

Financial Services Organisation of the Year: ICICI BANK

ICICI Bank is one of India’s leading multinational banking and financial services institutions. It has a presence in over 15 countries, and growing.

Under the leadership of Loknath Mishra, ICICI UK prides itself on its digital banking offer, with customers able open a current account within minutes. ICICI Bank’s NRI services and provision of 24/7 support make it a go-to bank for UK-India transactions.

Consultancy of the Year: GRANT THORNTON

Grant Thornton is one of the most dedicated supporters of Indian companies investing in the UK. Its annual ‘India Meets Britain’ Tracker is always eagerly awaited, as is now its annual report ‘The Diaspora Effect’ on the impact of British Indian owned companies in the UK, which it co-produces with FICCI UK.

Grant Thornton is of the most trusted names in the UK-India corridor with much credit going to partner Anuj Chande and business development lead, Chandru Iyer.

Technology Firm of the Year Award: HCL TECHNOLOGIES

Founded almost 50 years ago, HCL is one of India’s original IT garage start-ups. Today it operates from 52 countries, with revenues of over 11 billion dollars.

In the UK, HCL has been recognised as Top Employer in the UK for 15 consecutive years and for its notable CSR support during the Covid pandemic to charities such as the Prince’s Trust and Save The Children.

Investment of the Year Award: RELIANCE INDUSTRIES

Reliance Industries £125-million acquisition of UK-based sodium-ion technology company Faradion, signifies a major step-change in UK-India climate action collaboration.

It is a shining example of British innovation meeting India’s manufacturing and scale opportunities, creating jobs and business opportunities in both countries.

New Market Entrant of the Year Award: TIDE

Launched in 2017, London-based Tide is a leading business financial platform in the UK for SMEs.

It selected India as its first international market in 2020, and now employs over 350 highly skilled workers in its Hyderabad Technology Centre, with plans to boost further.

Tide has set out ambitious plans to incubate 500,000 women led SMEs in India by the end of 2027 and recently launched the Tide Women Entrepreneurs Mentorship Programme.

Business Promotion Organisation of the Year: WEST MIDLANDS INDIA PARTNERSHIP

The West Midlands, dubbed the ‘Beating Heart’ of the UK’s relationship with India, is home to the second largest Indian diaspora community in the UK

It is therefore no surprise that it receives the second-highest amount of Indian investment after London.

Much credit goes to the recently established West Midlands India Partnership and its comprehensive India strategy.

* In the judging, Mayor Andy Street recused himself from this category

Social Impact Project of the Year: AKSHAYA PATRA FOUNDATION

Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest midday meal provider for under-privileged children. It has provided over 3 billion meals across India linking the need for education with the need for nourishment.

During Covid, Akshaya Patra launched a state of the art kitchen in Watford through which is provided over 500,000 nourishing Ayurveda inspired vegetarian meals to the most needy. The charity has also been hugely active in providing food relief to the victims of the war in Ukraine.

* In the judging, Lord Gadhia recused himself from this category

*Info: More on the Awards and Shortlist here.

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