2008 shortlist

Asian Women of Achievement Awards Winners & shortlist 2008
Ten leading Asian women were celebrating their success at the 2008 Awards, when they were announced as winners in the ninth Asian Women of Achievement Awards. Glamour and excitement preceded the awards ceremony, with guests on the red carpet including Her Royal Highness Princess Badiya of Jordan, and actress Elizabeth Hurley.
Asian Women of Achievement Awards
Arts & Culture
Shobana Jeyasingh
director, Shobana Jeyasingh
Celebrated for her singular talent, Jeyasingh is a world renowned choreographer and artistic director. Born in Madras, now living in London, she has directed the Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company since 1988. Today, the company has established itself as the leading exponent of contemporary Indian dance. Awarded an MBE in January 1995 for services to dance, there is a whole new generation of dancers and choreographers who owe their existence to her ground breaking work and training.
Wasfi Kani OBE
Janet Steel
Stella Subbiah
Manjinder Virk
Asian Women of Achievement Awards
Ruby McGregor-Smith
chief executive, MITIE
Ruby McGregor-Smith is chief executive of £1.2bn business services group MITIE and, still, the first and only Asian women to run a FTSE 250 company. An accountant by training, she previously served as the group`s CFO.
Julie Chakraverty
Naeema Choudry
Fiona Owen
Sayeda Rafiq
Asian Women of Achievement Awards
Hasfa Abubacker
chief executive, Pitchwell Group
After working in home shopping for ten years, in October 2005 Hasfa Abubacker became the only woman and, aged 31, the youngest person in the UK to own and run a shopping channel. After growth, acquisitions and a move into retail, Pitchwell`s unique format of pitch demonstrations has earnt the company a turnover of £8.5m.
Nahid de Belgeonne
Dr Rabinder Buttar
Imtaz Khaliq
Pally Pagliuca
Asian Women of Achievement Awards
Media Professional
Arti Lukha
news editor, ITN
Arti Lukha`s determination to get to the heart of cutting-edge news stories as a hard-hitting journalist, has earned her the esteemed position of home news editor of ITN. In this role, Lukha strives to deliver the mix of opinions and backgrounds essential to achieve a balanced news programme that accurately reflects the diversity of British society today.
Kishwar Desai
Navdip Dhariwal
DJ Neev
Teji Singh
Asian Women of Achievement Awards
Joint winner
Afshan Ahmad
life story work coordinator, Foster Care Association
Afshan Ahmed, of the Foster Care Association, is a pioneer and author in the field of “life story work”, working with children in foster care. Her work has helped to give hundreds of children a sense of their own personal history.
Joint winner
Sue Ashtiany
head of employment, Nabarro LLP
Sue Ashtiany is the head of employment law at Nabarro LLP. Sue has served on the Equal Opportunities Commission and as UK refugee counsellor appointed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, making a huge contribution over several decades to the understanding of migrant and refugee issues.
Gauri Advani
Amrita Ahluwalia
Sharmila Mehta
Nina Salooja
Asian Women of Achievement Awards
Public Sector
Bala Thakrar
Founder, Asian Foundation for Philanthropy
Bala Thakrar has championed the needs of vulnerable people for 20 years. She founded Apna Ghar (the UK`s first Asian Disabled housing association) and has held posts at the Confederation of Indian Organisations, Voluntary Service Overseas and the Charities Aid Foundation. Three years ago, she founded the Asian Foundation for Philanthropy.
Abida Iqbal
Rajinder Mann
Mehri Niknam MBE
Parveen Sheik
Asian Women of Achievement Awards
Social & Humanitarian
Bala Thakrar
Asian Foundation for Philanthropy
Asian Women of Achievement Awards
Young Achiever
Snigdha Singh
Senior derivatives trader, Insight Investment
Snigdha Singh completed an MBA at the Indian Institute of management at the age of 23, where she was awarded the JP Morgan Scholarship for Best Female Exchange Student. She joined the Lehman Brothers trading floor in 2002, was promoted to associate within a year, becoming director of fixed income rates at just 27.
Aliye Ninon Cornish
Nishma Gosrani
Rachel Liew
Nikita Thakrar
Asian Women of Achievement Awards
AWA Chairman’s
Wasfi Kani

At the age of 14, Wasfi Kani won a place in the National Youth Orchestra where she was the only non-white member. At 18, she auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music and was accepted but turned this down for an offer from Oxford University where she read music. By 1993 she had made conducting her full-time career.

In 1989, Kani founded the small-scale touring company Pimlico Opera. In 1992, while continuing to run Pimlico, Kani was made chief executive of Garsington Opera. During her five years’ tenure, she doubled their turnover.

In 1998 she created a new opera house at Grange Park, with a new company Grange Park Opera. In the ten years since its inception, she has created an opera festival of the highest artistic standards that rivals Glyndebourne and each summer turns over more than £2m. In recognition of her contribution, she received an OBE for services to music in the New Year’s Honour’s List 2002.