The annual Tees Valley BME Achievement Awards champion minority ethnic talent from our region including businesses and business leaders from the black, Asian and minority ethnic community.
The awards are hosted by Halo Project boss Yasmin Khan, who was last year joined by her fellow advisor to the Welsh government, top barrister Nazir Afzal OBE, who as chief crown prosecutor hit the headlines for helping to prosecute the Rochdale sex trafficking gang.
As with many events, the 2020 BME Awards look set to lose out to Covid, but here we look back on just a few of the impressive business winners from years gone by.
DR RASHPAL SINGH
An internationally registered cosmetic specialist, Dr Singh has spent years mastering the art of non-surgical facial rejuvenation.
A graduate of Newcastle University, Middlesbrough-born Dr Singh now runs Linthorpe-based DRS Medispa, where he specialises in facial contouring, volume replacement and skincare.
Earlier this year, he was one of only four UK specialists selected for mentoring by one of the world’s leading cosmetic surgeons, Mauricio de Maio. DRS was Tees Valley’s BME Business of the Year in 2018.
Middlesbrough-born Ranjeet is the owner of groundbreaking online dispensary Linthorpe Pharmacy, whose bespoke prescription service is headquartered on the town’s Riverside Park.
Discovering a local gap in the market, fully-qualified pharmacist Ranjeet – a graduate of Sunderland University – launched a delivery-only service early last year.
Pakistan-born Javed was the visionary behind two of Teesside’s most famous nightclubs of the past, Tall Trees and The Mall. Through his business, Maher Entertainments, he spent £3m transforming Stockton High Street’s derelict Odeon cinema into The Mall, voted the UK’s Best Discotheque for three successive years between 1988 and 1990.
Javed, who was also a hugely successful property developer, is still working and leading overseas charity projects.
One of Teesside’s best-known businesspeople, Raj Singh’s empire includes care facilities, a construction firm and investment properties across the UK – and yet it all began with a small Redcar off licence.
Last year Raj spoke with pride about his plans to further expand his Prestige Care Group. After 25 years in the care business, he employed nearly 500 professional staff across five Tees Valley care centres.
Raj is also well known as the former owner of Darlington Football Club and current owner of Hartlepool United FC.
Amanda was named Woman of the Year in last year’s BME Awards just 18 months after joining Tees firm BHP Law as an associate.
Having moved to England from her native Nigeria as a teenager, she was made a partner by the firm after further enhancing her reputation for her work in family law.
Amanda works to inspire the legal profession to open up opportunities for the next generation of lawyers and is helping to kick-start the careers of aspiring professionals through a new network for law students, graduates, trainees and newlyqualified solicitors.
She is also regional representative of the North East Women Lawyers and Mothers Network, which seeks to inspire female lawyers and other senior professionals who are mums.
And here’s someone who hasn’t yet won a BME Achievement Award but perhaps should have…
Born in Pakistan, made in Middlesbrough. Born in Kashmir, Shab’s parents moved to England in the early 1950s and he was raised in North Ormesby.
He helped run family firm Boro Electronics before setting up his own store, MSV, on Middlesbrough’s Borough Road and later a megastore on Stockton’s Portrack Lane.
He then built a successful Middlesbrough-based sports apparel and merchandise company, MSV Sport, whose customers included football clubs Atletico Madrid, Stuttgart, Basel, Feyenoord, Tottenham, West Ham United, Bournemouth, Watford, Norwich City – and his beloved Boro.