Meet our judges AAA23


Shortlist announced for Asian Achievers Awards 2023

Author: AAA team

To find out more about the AAA and to attend, call us on 020 7993 6851.

LONDON, 3 AUGUST  2023: The stage is set and the red-carpet is getting laid out as the shortlist for potential winners of the 21st Asian Achievers Awards, the UK’s most prominent and longstanding celebration of British Asian achievement across multiple fields, are announced. This year’s Awards will take place on Friday 15th September 2023 at the prestigious London Hilton on Park Lane. Nearly 700 people are expected to attend. These high-profile guests include celebrities, senior ministers, global stars and influencers. Over the last few editions, the net worth of the room has consistently been over £40 billion.

In the upcoming edition, more than 500 nominations were received across all the categories.  These include: Arts And Culture, Business Person Of The Year, Community Service, Entrepreneur Of The Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, Media, Professional Of The Year Sports Personality Of The Year, Uniformed And Civil Service and Woman Of The Year.

Judges were chosen to represent a wide cross-section of society from charity, public services, business, entrepreneurship and politics. They include Farzana Baduel (CEO and Co-Founder, Curzon PR), Shamil Thakrar (Co-Founder, Dishoom), former England cricketer and Yorkshire captain Azeem Rafiq, Chair of Unicef UK Shatish Dasani, Chair of the Police Federation for the City of London Mike Reed, and Mohammed Amin MBE, trustee of the The National War Memorial.

This year’s shortlist includes accomplished figures across various fields. This includes the star of BBC One drama A Suitable Boy and Apple TV+ Shantaram, Shubham Saraf, as well as Anwar Uddin MBE, who created history by becoming the first British-Bangladeshi player in English football history, and Chair of KPMG UK Bina Mehta – the first woman to hold the role in company’s 150 year history.

Speaking about this year’s programme, Liji George, Commercial Director, Asian Achievers Awards says: “We see in the Shortlist that the Awards represent the best and brightest in South Asian excellence across the country. We have community leaders, innovators and job creators that have added to the social, cultural and business fabric of the UK. Congratulations to all the shortlist and best of luck for the Awards.”

South Asians in the UK today occupy leadership positions across a range of fields, including politics, business and civil society. The Asian Achievers Awards continue to recognise the outstanding work of such individuals within the South Asian community. The event is organised by global advisory firm EPG, supported by Market Financial Solutions (MFS), Axiom DWFM, Asian Voice, Gujarat Samachar and others, with expected funds of upwards of £150,000 expected to be raised for charity partner One Kind Act on the night.

Nitin Ganatra (Eastenders), entrepreneur, philanthropist and documentary filmmaker, returns as the host of the evening. Joining him as the co-host is renowned Pakistani actress and model, Ainy Jaffri Rahman (Balu Mahi). Ganatra says: “The Asian Achievers Awards celebrate the best of the awe-inspiring talent we have in the South Asian community today. Every year I come to these Awards and am impressed by the standard of nominations and the quality of the shortlist. Just look back at the last two decades of winners and you’ll see the event has tracked the growth of our community for more than a generation.”

Rahman adds: “Everywhere we look in the South Asian community in Britain today, it is full of inspirational people. Some excel on screen, and others do it quietly in their local neighbourhoods. I’m pleased to be involved in the AAA to be able to celebrate these hidden gems, who I hope can inspire the next generation.”

Art and Culture

  • Archana Kumar
  • Jasdeep Singh Degun
  • Prathiba Parmar
  • Shubham Saraf

Business Person of the Year

  • Dr Dharminder Nagar
  • Dr Harren Jhoti FRS OBE
  • Nisha Katona MBE
  • Zeeshaan Shah

Community Service

  • Atif Ali BEM
  • Baljeet Chane
  • Poulomi Desai
  • Shalni Arora

Special Award for Contribution to Music

Announced on the night.

Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Nurdin Jivraj
  • Rishi Patel
  • Siddhi Mittal
  • Tani Dulay
  • Vaysh Kewada

Lifetime Achievement Award

Announced on the night.


  • Aditya Chakrabortty
  • Anila Dhami
  • Rubina Pabani and Poppy Jay
  • Shamim Chowdhury

Professional of the Year

  • Bina Mehta
  • Dr Nikki Kanani
  • Lubna Shuja
  • Prof Ketan J Patel

Sports Personality of the Year

  • Anwar Uddin MBE
  • Bhupinder Singh Gill
  • Hamzah Sheeraz
  • Naomi Dilip Dattani

Uniformed and Civil Service

  • Asrar-Ul-Haq OBE DL
  • HHJ Anuja Ravindra Dhir QC
  • Murugesvaran Subramaniam
  • Salman Desai KAM

Woman of the Year

  • Dr Lalitha Iyer
  • Ridwana Wallace-Laher
  • Rukshana Kapasi
  • Saloni Bhojwani and Samira Ann Qassim

To find out more about the AAA and to book your ticket, visit or call 020 7993 6851.