Hindujas top list as Britain's South Asian tycoons celebrated

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's South Asian communities celebrated their contribution to the British economy on Friday, highlighting the industrialist Hinduja brothers as among the wealthiest tycoons in the country.

The Asian Business Awards gala event in London attracted business leaders, entrepreneurs and several prominent parliamentarians.

It also celebrated the top 10 wealthiest British-based Asians, with Gopichand and Srichand Hinduja, brothers of Indian origin, edging out steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal for the top spot.

"The event is a celebration of Asian business excellence, acumen and achievement, with Asian business leaders mixing with powerful policymakers, business trendsetters and celebrities," organisers said.

"Asians have come a long way from the stereotypical corner-shop owners." Sponsors Asian Media and Marketing Group (AMG) published an Asian Rich List showing the combined overall net worth of the 101 wealthiest had reached £51.5 billion (S$107.5 billion) - an increase of £6.5 billion on last year.

The London-based Hindujas, entrepreneurs who co-chair the multinational Hinduja Group conglomerate, were ranked as Britain's richest South Asians with a total worth of £13.5 billion.

"The lesson one can learn was from what my father used to say - never put all your fruits in one basket," said Gopichand Hinduja.

"This has always been rewarding for the group because suddenly if you have an economic crisis in one country there is somewhere else where things are progressing." The Hindujas edged out Indian-born Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and chief executive of steelmaker ArcelorMittal, who is worth £12 billion according to the list.

AMG executive editor Shailesh Solanki said the list "shows the remarkable strength 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," he said.

Britain's top 10 wealthiest South Asians 2014 (worth; source of wealth): 1 - Gopichand and Srichand Hinduja (£13.5bn; industry, finance) 2 - Lakshmi Mittal (£12bn; steel) 3 - Anil Agarwal (£2.4bn; mining) 4 - Prakash Lohia (£2bn; textiles, plastics) 5 - Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan (£1.35bn; food) 6 - Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora (£1.3bn; discount stores) 7 - Jasminder Singh (£1.2bn; hotels) 8 - Anwar Pervez (£1.1bn; cash and carry) 9 - Chandaria family (£1bn; manufacturing) 10 - Swraj and Angad Paul (£0.75bn; industry)

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