Noon wins Punjabi Society Award
NRI industrialist Sir Gulam Noon has won the International Punjabi Society Award for 2004 for his entrepreneurship, philanthropy and vision.
The award was conferred on him by the President of the International Punjabi Society, European Division, G S Gujaral, CBE (Commander of the British Empire) at the Annual Dinner and Diwali Celebrations of the Society at a hotel in London last night.
Present on the occasion were Satyabrata Pal, Deputy High Commissioner for India, Piara Singh Khabra, Labour MP, Dominic Grieve, Conservative MP, Shadow Attorney General and NRI industrialist Rami Ranger.
Reading out the citation, Rami Ranger described Sir Gulam as not only a successful businessman but perhaps the biggest employer of Punjabis in the UK.
"Sir Noon is a social reformer and a man of vision, a role model and inspiration to us all," Ranger said. "There are very few businessmen of Sir Gulam Noon's stature who put back as much into society as he does."
The success of Sir Gulam Noon is a classic 'rags to riches' tale. From humble beginnings in Mumbai, Sir Gulam has become a formidable business figure in the UK.
Sir Gulam's core enterprise 'Noon Products' enjoy an annual turnover of 90 million pounds. For this venture and his contribution to business and society, he was Knighted in 2002.
He was the founder chairman of the Asian Business Association, which works under the umbrella of the London Chamber of Commerce, and in 1998 Sir Gulam was appointed to the main board of the London Chamber of Commerce for 18 months. MORE
In 1966 he received the MBE and 2002 he was Knighted by the Queen in her jubilee year. In 1994 he was voted the Asian of the year and in 1998 he received honorary Masters degrees from Surry University, Guildhall University and Birmingham and Middlesex University. Sir Gulam is married to Punjabi writer Mohni Kant.
Speaking on the occasion, Pal described the Punjabi Businessmen and Industrialists as "Jewels of the British and Indian societies" and lauded their contribution to the strategic partnership between the two countries.
On the occasion, Rami Ranger suggested that British Government should consider declaring Diwali a National Holiday.
Dominic Grieves concurred with Ranger and said Diwali, clubbed with the Britain's Bonfire night be declared as a National Holiday.
Accepting the Awards, Sir Gulam acknowledged the opportunity provided in Britain for entrepreneurship. "I am like you, proud to be a British Asian. It does not mean I'm less Indian. Similarly here the society has given me opportunity to come up. If you have fire in your belly and take risk, you can achieve your dream," he said.
Sir Gulam said Indians in Britain had made remarkable progress because they utilised the opportunity to educate their children here. "Britain is the Mecca of education".