On a sensational star-studded night, Jackie Chan, Ahmed Kathrada, Irrfan Khan, Norah Jones, Gok Wan, Sir David Tang and billionaire Lui Che Woo were among those honored at The Asian Awards in Partnership with UBS, at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
The second annual Top 100 Most Influential Asians* list was also launched, unveiling President of China, Xi Jinqping in top spot, followed by Indian leader, Sonia Gandhi, Vice Premier of China, Le Keqiang and Indian election front runner Narendra Modi taking fourth place. Founder of The Asian Awards, Paul Sagoo said,
“This year The Asian Awards has truly lived up to its name, celebrating global Asian achievement in what was a triumphant night. We are honored with the support of our guests and winners, including the amazing Ahmed Kathrada, Jackie Chan, and MP’s like Jeremy Hunt who joined us for this magnificent gathering of some of the world’s most inspirational and powerful people. The Asian Awards also saw the presentation of the second ‘Top 100 Most Influential Asians’, which highlights the world’s most influential Asians today. Countless hours of research and deliberation went into creating this list and I am confident it will become a definitive guide of measuring influence among those of Asian origin.”
The Awards started with spectacular entertainment from singer and actress Preeya Kalidas, who performed for a room full of A-list guests, including Idris Elba, Zayn Malik, Naughty Boy, Beverley Knight, Laura Mvula, Gok Wan, Lydia Rose-Bright, Amy Willerton, Nina Wadia, NitinGanatra, Jasmin Walia, GurinderChadha, Adil Ray and Mark Ramprakash amongst others.
The awards partnered with charity Oxfam and raised a significant sum for the foundation.The ceremony was opened by The Asian Awards founder, Paul Sagoo, followed by the presentation of the prestigious Founders Award by Golden Globe winner Idris Elba who honored South African politician, former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada. In an emotional historic acceptance speech, to a standing ovation, Ahmed dedicated the award to his brothers and sisters who did not live to see the freedom they fought for.
The coveted Fellowship Award went to Jackie Chan actor, director and martial artist who has been in the entertainment industry for 55 years.Legendary Indian actor, Irrfan Khan was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Cinema. Irrfan has famously crossed over into western cinema, becoming the first Bollywood actor to star in two films that won the Academy Award for Best Director Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Life of Pi (2012).
Norah Jones was awarded with the Outstanding Achievement in Music prize for her immense achievements in global music, while the Outstanding Achievement in Television award went to Gok Wan who was overwhelmed at receiving the prestigious award. Gok dedicated the award to his father who he said,
“Has taught me that being Asian is cool.”
Hong Kong’s second richest man with an estimated worth of US $22 billion, Lui Che Woo picked up the Entrepreneur of the Year award; The Business Leader of the Year award wentto Vaccine billionaire, Cyrus Poonawalla owner of Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest producer of vaccines, making more than one billion doses annually. As of March 2014, Forbes estimates Poonawalla’s net worth at $4.9 billion.
Noble prize winning Sir Venkataraman Ramakrishnan was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Science; while the Outstanding Achievement in Sport award went to Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Finally, Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the audience acknowledging the awards had grown from strength to strength, recognising the Asian Awards are the only Pan Sector Pan-Asian award ceremony in the world and stating how proud he was that they were held in London. In conclusion he paid tribute to the Founders Award recipient Ahmed Kathrada.