Food tycoon Ranjit Boparan Singh of 2 Sisters Group has retained his position as the wealthiest Asian in the Midlands for the third year running as the only billionaire in the latest edition of the Asian Rich List Midlands.
As head of the country’s second-largest food production company, Singh and his wife Baljinder are worth a staggering £1.35 billion. The power couple increased their wealth by £50 million in the past year.
The inspiring story of how the Singhs and 50 other families made their millions is revealed in the annual glossy Asian Rich List Midlands, compiled by Eastern Eye and set to be released on Friday (15) at the glittering Asian Business Awards in Birmingham.
Leading entrepreneurs who made it into the top 10 include steel and engineering magnate Lord Swarj Paul, who follows Singh in second place with a net worth of £725 million.
Despite another tough year for the economy, this year’s list shows that the combined overall net worth of the 51 millionaires reached an impressive £4.37 billion. This is an increase of £60 million from last year, with those who appear in the top 10 representing nearly 75 per cent of the total wealth figure.
Brothers Nitin, Anup and Pankaj Sodha climbed three places from last year to number seven with their pharmaceutical wholesaler Lexon, which was set up with their nephew Pritesh Sonpal in 1995. The company delivers drugs to more than 1,200 independent pharmacies and major groups across the UK, and the family increased their wealth by £15m in the last year.
This year’s list features two new families – Dinesh and Sanjay Gadhia, and Dr Manjit Singh Pawar – who are the names behind Morningside Healthcare, a Leicester-based pharmacy who-lesaler and retail chain, and Absolute Care Homes, respectively.
Shailesh Solanki, executive editor of the Asian Media and Marketing Group (AMG), which publishes Eastern Eye and the Asian Rich List Midlands, said: “The list shows the remarkable resilience and diversity of Asian businesses in the UK. Despite the challenges of the general economy many business leaders in the community have seen opportunity and potential and moved quickly to capitalise. It is an inspiring picture and one that should energise entrepreneurs everywhere.”
It is not only the first generation of immigrants who are reaping the fruits of their hard work. Rising stars include two millionaires who are aged under 40, and 16 entrepreneurs are between the ages of 40 and 50.
Kavi Jundu is one of the youngest business owners featured in Asian Rich List Midlands at the age of 35. With his West Bromwich-based cardboard box manufacturing company Diamond Box, he has successfully tapped into the growing demand for premium packaging both on the high street and online, and has a net worth of £12m.
This thriving entrepreneurial spirit across the east and west Midlands was set to be recognised and celebrated at the Asian Business Awards ceremony on Friday, with leading figures who have paved the way receiving top accolades.
Kalpesh Solanki, group managing editor of AMG, said: “The enterprising spirit and the crucial role of entrepreneurs is vital not only to the economy but also to society as a whole as it serves to inspire the next generation of businessmen and women. It is this attitude that will drive the economy forward, creating jobs and giving families value and sense of purpose.”