Kartar Lalwani, founder-managing director of Vitabiotics, a vitamin supplement company, was adjudged the UK Entrepreneur of the Year at a function in London on Tuesday night.
At the GG2 (Garavi Gujarat) Leadership and Diversity Awards 2003 held at the Le Meridian Grosvenor House Hotel, Kalwani, who founded the company in 1971 was chosen for the coveted award for his exceptional marketing skills and entrepreneurial flair.
The company distributes 15 brands in the United Kingdom and internationally, and five of these are Britain's best selling supplements.
In May 2003, Vitabiotics received 'The Queen's Award' - the most coveted commercial prize given to a UK business house.
Baroness Valerie Amos, Britain's Secretary of State for Department for International Development, who was the chief guest, won the 'Hammer Award' the highest award given to an individual for breaking through the 'glass ceiling.'
Ronen Sen, High Commissioner for India to the United Kingdom, presented the award to Baroness Amos.
Amos is the first black woman to be appointed on the British Cabinet.
Prior to her appointment as Secretary of State for International Development in May this year, Baroness Amos was Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
Born in 1954 in Guyana, Baroness Amos began her career in local government, working in various London boroughs from 1981 to 1989.
She was a Government Whip in the House of Lords from 1998 to 2001, and has also been a spokesperson on social security, international development and women's issues.
More than a dozen other awards were also presented at the dinner attended by over 1,000 distinguished guests, including Lord Swraj Paul, NRI, British Ambassador for Overseas Business, Keith Vaz, former Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Shekhar Kapur, producer of Oscar-nominated film Elizabeth, and Barry Gardinar, MP, General Secretary of Labour Friends of India.
Kabir Bedi, veteran Bollywood actor, and his wife Nikki Bedi compered the programme.
Other prominent award recipients were Baroness Usha Prashar, CBE (Commander of the British Empire), the First Civil Service Commissioner, Cabinet Office (Woman of the Year), Rabinder Singh, QC (Queen's Counsel) (Man of the Year), Sanjeev Bhasker, (TV and Drama Award), Dr Ajay Vora, Consultant Paediatric Haematologist (Innovation Award), Zahida Manzoor, Legal Ombudsman (Public Service Award).
Purnima Raval, Police Constable, Metropolitan Police (Metropolitan Service Community Award), Lisa Aziz (Media Personality of the Year Award), Rekha Bhakoo, Head Teacher (Teacher of the Year Award), Commander Joe Da Gama (Endeavour Award), Lorna Hamilton-Brown (Community Award), Poppy Tanna (Achievement through Adversity Award), Michael Watson (Sports Personality of the Year Award) and Walkers (Best Commercial Award) too were awarded during the function.