Awesome achievements & accolades



Only a week into 2018, and with 12 family business leaders listed in Her Majesty’s New Year Honours, it looks like the year is already off to a great start for our community!

The Queen’s Honours give national and global recognition to extraordinary people- and with two CBEs and ten OBEs (as well as a knighthood for Sir John Timpson late last year), we are absolutely delighted to see so many family businesses receiving the ultimate commendation for their contributions. Be they in service to the economy, best in class, innovation, philanthropy, community service; it proves just how hugely diverse the potential of family businesses can be- and how ‘the backbone of the UK economy’ is a title well-earned!

These achievements are the highest accolades in the land. You can nominate anyone but yourself, if you feel that they have made a difference to their community for the better, achieved something great, innovated within their field, improved quality of life for those less able, and more. The nominations must pass through a committee and the Prime Minister before submission to the Queen. To be mentioned is no mean feat, and I raise a glass to all who have excelled and rewarded publicly for their efforts.

What I think is lovely about the Queen’s Honours Lists is that they favour good values- and these extraordinary people are bound by the common values that can be found in the DNA of any family business. Honest-to-goodness people contributing to their communities, providing quality products and services, giving back, innovating in their industries- these values are what make a family business; and for that reason it is my sincere hope to see even more family business stars listed next year!

1. Timothy Rix of J.R. Rix & Sons
Awarded CBE for services to the economy and regeneration in the Humber region.

2. Rick Stein of The Seafood Restaurant
Awarded CBE for services to the economy.

3. Jarnail Singh Athwal of Premier Decorations
Awarded OBE for services to business and charity.

4. Robert Dobson of Dunbia
Awarded OBE for services to economic development in Northern Ireland.

5. John McGregor of Contamac
Awarded OBE for services to international trade and innovation in polymer technology.

6. Victoria Miro of Miro Gallery
Awarded OBE for services to art.

7. Alison Sellar of activpayroll
Awarded OBE for services to business in Scotland and abroad.

8. Colin Squire of Squire’s Garden Centres
Awarded OBE for services to the horticultural industry and to charity.

9. Jill Dudley-Tool of Frank Dudley Ltd
Awarded MBE for services to business and the community in Birmingham.

10. Susan Hallam of Hallam Internet
Awarded MBE for services to entrepreneurship and innovation.

11. Deborah Heald of Heald Ltd
Awarded MBE for services to exports and promotion of STEM careers for women.

12. Ronald Knight of Knights Farm Machinery
Awarded MBE for services to agricultural engineer entrepreneurship and charitable fundraising.

From good to great

In September I discussed the Asian Rich List 2017, and how much Asian family businesses contribute to the UK economy- but where the entries of that list were mainly London-based, this time I’ve turned my attention homeward. It’s fabulous to see that of the KM’s list of fastest-growing private companies in Kent, 56% are family-owned; proving yet again that being called ‘the backbone of the UK economy’ is a title well-earned.

Over the last three years, the turnover rates of these family businesses are positively astounding across the board. Whether it’s smaller Kentish firms like Red Eagle Recruitment, Castacrete, or Lind Group achieving over 50% turnover, or those with triple digit turnovers, like Watchfinder, Simms International and Ovendens Earthmoving Company; it’s glorious to see the world of family business continuing to thrive.

The story of golf equipment manufacturer, Powakaddy International, makes for an interesting case of how much of a difference having family in the business can make. After John Catford sold the business off, it’s been passed around from corporate group to corporate group- and the lack of personal investment reportedly showed. It was only in 2012 that Catford’s son, David, took over that Powakaddy and turned their fortunes around: in the last three years, it has achieved a turnover of a whopping 501.3%!

As far as I’m concerned, the results speak for themselves. Family businesses of this calibre are top employers, recognised internationally for what they put into the economy- and in uncertain times like these, there are few things more vital. It goes to show that while corporate environments can certainly keep the lights on, as it were; it takes the personal investment of a family to make a business truly shine.

1. Powakaddy International
2. Watchfinder
3. The Specialist Works
4. Priority Freight Dover
5. Highway Care Group
6. P.A. Crocker
7. Simms International
8. GForces Web Management
9. Ovendens Earthmoving Company
10. Motorline
11. Elm Surfacing
12. Bates Office
13. Otford Builders Merchants
14. GKR Scaffolding
15. Sahara Presentations Systems
16. Rift Group
17. TCS Screeding
18. Clock House Farm
19. Lucas
20. Edward Vinson
21. Reliable Contractors Ltd
22. FM Conway
23. Cooper Estates
24. FGS Agri
25. Red Eagle Recruitment
26. Lind Group
27. Castacrete
28. Stewart Fraser

The Asian Rich List 2017

With worries about a post-Brexit economy reaching an all-time high, I think it obvious that effective, long-term strategy is needed. I’ve spoken before about the negative myth surrounding the productivity of UK family firms, and I maintain that in terms of robust, sustainable, community-focused strategies, family businesses continue to lead the way. While money-orientated, quick fix plans may not be our forte compared to larger corporations, in times like these, slow-build sustainability is far more important.

Just recently, I’ve had a look at Eastern Eye’s 2017 Asian Rich List, a compilation of Britain’s 101 Wealthiest Asians. Not only are 73% of the entrepreneurs listed owners and directors of family businesses; but the total wealth created for Asian wealth in Britain has been estimated at £69.9 billion, a £15bn increase since last year!

I found two things that all these family business leaders have in common: self-employment, and self-made fortune.  I speak from experience: having met and worked with a number of leaders of Asian family businesses, what lies at the heart of each of them is their culture, their work ethic, their values, and their desire to be successful.

Sri Prakash Lohia, chairman of the 40-year old Indorama Corporation and third in the list, supports the idea that values should be priority when it comes to staying alive in an ever-changing economy.

‘It’s not the money, I think. You try to build an organisation that will last forever. That is called real business which is our principle. Without principle if you try and run a business it will not last long.’

He isn’t alone, of course: the Asian Richlist is positively littered with identical sentiments from 1st to 101st ; each valuing loyalty, integrity toward family values, and investing in London’s expansion. With the list showing numerous reports of a successful 2016, it remains clear to me that once again, family businesses continue to be the best example of how to face moving forward with true determination.

  • Hinduja Family, Hinduja Group
  • Lakshmi Mittal, ArcelorMittal
  • Sri Prakash Lohia, Indorama Corporation
  • Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora, B&M
  • Anil Agarwal, Vedanta
  • Cyrus and Priya Vandrevala, Intrepid Capital Partners
  • Sir Anwar and Dawood Pervez, Bestway Group
  • Jasminder Singh, Edwardian Hotels
  • Manubhai Chandaria, Comcraft
  • Zameer Choudrey, Bestway Group
  • Harpal, Raj and Tony Matharu, Global Grange Group
  • Mahmud Kamani,
  • Lord Swraj Paul, Caparo
  • Vijay and Bhikhu Patel, Amdipharm
  • Mayur Madhvani and family, Madhvani Group
  • Ramesh and Bhupendra Kansagra, Solai Holdings
  • Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, Dominvs Group
  • Kuljinder Singh Bahia, Southall Travel
  • Surinda Arora, Arora Group
  • Ranjit and Baljinder Singe Boparan, 2 Sisters Food Group
  • Mike Jatania & Family, PCWW Property Holdings
  • Ramesh Sachdev- Shiva Hotels
  • Tom and Kuljit Singh, New Look
  • Kartar and Tej Lalvani, Vitabiotics
  • Kishore Lulla, Eros International
  • Nirmal Sethia, N Sethia Foundation
  • Navin Engineer, Chemidex
  • Mohsin and Zuber Issa, Euro Garages
  • Shiraz and Nadeem Boghani, Splendid Hospitality Group
  • Vipul, Shilen and Shamil Thakrar, Tilda
  • Pradip and Manish Dhamechca, Dhamecha Cash & Carry
  • Apurv Bagri, Metdist Group
  • Sanjay and Vipul Vadera, Per-Scent
  • Jay, Rupa and Sam Patel, Day Lewis
  • Naresh Goyal, Jet Airways
  • Dr Nikesh and Moni Kotecha, Morningside
  • Mayank Patel, Azibo Group
  • Gulshan Bhatia, Doubletree
  • Vidya, Ram and Avnish Goyal, Hallmark Care Homes
  • Rami Ranger, Sun Mark
  • Yakub and Anwar Patel, Cohens
  • Kirit and Meena Pathak, Pathak’s
  • The Suterwalla brothers, TRS
  • Aziz Tayub, Poundstretcher
  • Koolesh Shah
  • Mitu Misra, Safestyle
  • Shiraz and Amin Tejani, Leicester Tissue Company
  • Aly Esmail, SME Group
  • Raj Sehgal and Sanjeev Mehan
  • Sukhjit and Harry Dulai, Flying Trade Group
  • Dinesh Dhamija, Flightbookers
  • Farouq and Haroon Sheikh, CareTech
  • Abdul Alimohamed, Euro Packaging
  • Kishorekant (Vinu) Bhattessa, Mint Leaf
  • Firoz Tejani, International Currency Exchange
  • Nick Dhandsa, Associated Nursing Servies
  • Nitin, Pankaj, Anup Sodha and Pritesh Sonpal, Lexon
  • Lord Waheed Alli, Planet 24
  • Hitendra and Kirti Patel, Parallel Importing
  • Ketan and Bharat Mehta, NSL Group
  • Tony Deep Wouhra, East End Foods
  • Kirti and Tanuja Patel, Goldshield
  • Palminder and Engrez Singh Sanghera, SEP Properties
  • Pavan Popat, TLC Group
  • Dilesh and Hitesh Mehta, Shaneel Enterprises
  • Satinder Gulati, Veladail Group
  • Bharat, Manish and Kamal Shah, Sigma Pharmaceuticals
  • Nandal and Deep Valecha, Regent Gas
  • Afzal and Akmal Khushi, Trespass
  • Jagmail Gill, Property
  • Bipin, Piyoosh and Bharat Chotai, Waremoss
  • Sandjeev and Arani Soosapillai, State Oil Group
  • Prakash Thakrar and Family, HT & Co.

Hey wonderful girls!

On 15 July we held our newly branded The National Family Business Awards 2017. We gathered together in our hundreds to reflect, celebrate and recognise the very best that UK and Ireland family run enterprises have to offer. Indeed they contribute in total around £1.3 trillion to the UK and Irish economy and employ over 12.5 million jobs – wowza! See the pics here!

However, we were not only there to celebrate the success of all of these wonderful family businesses. They are indeed awesome, everyone is a Champion and should be proud of their achievements.

We know how hard it is combining family with business, putting everything on the line. The ups are truly fantastic and the downs can be horrendous and often heartbreaking. What makes us different is how we stand shoulder to shoulder with family and friends through the tough times, as well as the good. And encourage each other to pick up the pieces and bounce back with true grit and determination.

This year, we have been really struck by the adverse difficulties faced by one of our fabulous family businesses. They nearly lost everything (haven’t we all been there!) because of unforeseen circumstances beyond their control; in a market always under scrutiny. We kept in touch to give our support and show we care. Needless to say, the team have come through this traumatic time even stronger, more determined to succeed …… with oodles of style.

At The National Family Business Awards, we had the honour of presenting our Family Business Place Special Recognition Award to the brilliant, wonderful amazing Titans, Maggie Carter and Jenny Whitham of Award Winning Patchwork Pate of Wales.

#HugeRespect #Survivors #VivaFamilyBusiness #Determinationinthefaceofadversity