AN entrepreneurial family who transformed their small petrol station business into one of the fastest growing companies in the heart of the country scooped the highest accolade at the Asian Business Awards Midlands on Friday night (April 22).
It was the second consecutive time the Thakrar brothers won the Asian Business of the Year at the ceremony in Warwickshire.
The family started their operation in 1984 with just one petrol station and now own 61 forecourts. They doubled their turnover in a span of three months and their children are actively involved in the day to day running of HKS Holdings in Leicester.
The Thakrars’ strategy, vision and professional management which propelled them into a national player in a highly competitive market, impressed the panel of judges this year.
Many of their petrol stations contain Spar supermarkets, Costa Coffee and Subway outlets to give customers a modern shopping experience every time they fill up.
Brothers Hasmukh, Kamlesh and Sailesh Thakrar are worth £40 million.
The family were among several other talents in the business world who were recognised on the night at the Dallas Burston Polo Club in Warwickshire.
Entrepreneur businessmen and women, as well as senior politicians were in the audience as the Asian Rich list Midlands 2016 - ranking the 51 wealthiest Asians in the region was launched.
Ranjit Boparan of 2 Sisters Food Group maintained his position at the top of the annual list, ahead of steel tycoon Lord Swraj Paul for the fourth time.
Although they topped the list, husband and wife team of Ranjit and Baljit Boparan suffered significant losses in their overall wealth dropping 33 per cent below their 2015 billionaire status to £900 million.
Their 2 Sisters Food Group - one of the leading food manufacturing companies in Europe, has consolidated its position and is one of the most significant producers of poultry, red meat and frozen foods in Britain.
In second place is Lord Swraj Paul, the chairman of the Caparo Group, which has suffered due to the slump in steel prices is worth £500 million.
Guests of honour on the evening, ministers Anna Soubry MP and Baroness Sandip Verma both paid tribute to the contribution and achievements of the Asian business community, while Andrew Street CBE, managing director of the John Lewis Partnership, took part in a masterclass about the retail sector.
Under his leadership, sales have increased over 50 per cent to over £4 billion, and Street has overseen the opening of 18 new stores and the launch of Johnlewis.com which now has sales in excess of £1bn.
Guests dug deep for the charity appeal raising money for Silver Star which runs four Mobile Diabetes Units (MDUs) in Leicester and London, and two in Goa and Mumbai.
Among the winners who were recognised on the night included Raj Holness from Breaking the Silence, who has dedicated her life to fighting and raising awareness about domestic abuse.
The Asian business Midlands young entrepreneur of the year award went to Rosie Ginday the creator of Miss Macaroon.
Ginday started her business in 2011 with just £500. Today the business supplies over 9,000 premium quality macaroons a week to leading fashion brands, corporate clients and major department stores in Birmingham, London and Manchester.
The Miss Macaroons ‘Make a Difference’ training programme specifically helps unemployed young people to gain work skills, build their confidence and make their way into the highly competitive catering industry.
Asian Business Awards – Midlands - Full list of winners
Manufacturing Award Mantir Sahota Singh of CBS Packaging Group Healthcare Business Award
Nitin Sodha, managing director of Knights Chemist
Restaurant Award Pawan Kenth- Asha’s of Birmingham
Community Champion Award
Raj Holness of Breaking the Silence
Spirit of the community Award
Maganbhai Patel of Walsall
Fast growth business award
Tilk Mehta, managing director of Salisbury Poultry
Rosie Ginday of Miss Macaroon.
Shiraz Tejani of Leicester Tissue Company Asian businesswoman award
Imandeep Kaur of The Impact Hub.
Asian Business of the Year
Thakrar Family of HKS Holdings.