The GG2 Leadership Awards programme is a unique platform celebrating a multicultural Britain while offering organisations a better understanding, reach and penetration into the black, Asian and ethnic communities with its year-long programme of activities. Hosted by the Asian Media Group (AMG), publishers of Eastern Eye and Garavi Gujarat newsweekly, the 19th annual GG2 Leadership Awards took place on Thursday 26th October 2017 in Central London. 13 awards were presented on the night which recognise and reward talent among Britain’s black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

Santander Bank’s Chairperson, Baroness Shriti Vad­era, won the top honour – the GG2 Hammer Award. Baroness Vadera is the first woman and non-white chair of a major British bank and paid tribute to her parents as she collected the award. Dr Fayyaz Azfal OBE, who qualified as a barrister and successfully practised in crime, family law and im­migration despite being blind, won the Achievement through Adversity Award. This year’s Pride of Britain Award was presented col­lectively to the blue light services who attended the Manchester bombing, the London terror attacks as well as the tragedy at Grenfell Tower in the capital. Sir Harpal Singh Kumar who heads Cancer Research UK, was named Man of the Year while judge HHJ Anuja Ravindra Dhir of the Central Criminal Court was presented the Woman of the Year Award. Professor Francesca Cordeiro, a Professor of Oph­thalmology at Imperial College London won the Out­standing Achievement in Medicine, just some of the many outstanding winners of this year’s GG2 Leadership Awards.

The annual event also saw the launch of the GG2 Power List 2018, a com­pilation of the 101 most influential Asians in Britain by Chief Guest RT Hon Damian Green MP, The First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office. In his address, Green said: “The seventh edition of the GG2 Power List showcases the wealth of talent and high achievement within the Asian community, and I think it’s important we celebrate this. Asian businesses and professionals in the UK are helping to increase the UK’s reach on the international stage.” The minister noted the contribution of south Asians to the UK, especially as post-war Britain struggled to rebuild its infrastructure. “It was, in part, the fantastic response of our brilliant immigrant communities, including those from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, that helped rebuild our economy and shape what Britain is today. Your history is British history,” Green added. London Mayor Sadiq Khan headed the list for the second consecutive year, followed by secretaries of state Sajid Javid and Priti Patel in second and third place, respectively. In his remarks to the audience, Khan acknowledged the wealth of talent among Britain’s Asian communities.

Kalpesh Solanki, Group Managing Editor of Asian Media Group (AMG) said: “Celebrating success and achievements of mi­norities is important. It shows our society has matured, that we are integrating and that we have role models to help pave the way for future generations. We need to embrace ways to change attitudes and mindsets and to celebrate the value of immigrants.” Among the 750 guests at the event were India’s High Commissioner YK Sinha, MPs Barry Gardiner, Seema Malhotra and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi; Peers Lord Swraj Paul and Baroness Sandip Verma; CEOs and Industrialists; Faith and Community Leaders; Heads of Thinktanks; as well as leading lights from the world of Arts, Media and Entertainment.