Leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul, founder of Cobra Beer Karan Bilimoria and controversial author Salman Rushdie figure in a list of Britain's richest Asians named in a new report, but surprisingly steel baron Lakshmi Mittal and the Hinduja brothers are not named in it.
The 72-year old Paul, with wealth of pound 225 million, is listed as the fourth richest Asian in the list headed by Mike Jatania and family, manufacturers of cosmetics and beauty products whose wealth has been put at pound 460 million, according to Success 2003, a publication of Eastern Eye.
Brothers Vijay and Bhikhu Patel, who are into pharmaceuticals, come second with wealth of pound 330 million followed by Jasminder Singh (pound 320 million), chairman and chief executive of one of the most successful hotel chains in the UK, The Edwardian Radisson Group Ltd.
Controversial author Salman Rushdie, who won the Booker Prize for his novel 'Midnight's Children', is listed as the 158th richest Asian with a fortune worth pound 10 million.
The 'Success 2003' was released at a gala programme held at the Natural History Museum in London Tuesday night. The show was hosted by Bombay Dreams star Dalip Tahil and former Miss World Diana Hayden.
Bilimoria, who is listed 86th in the rich list with a fortune worth pound 21 million, also won the 'Businessman of the Year' award.
According to Eastern Eye Editor Amar Singh, fashion has emerged as this year's strongest sector, showing an eight per cent growth over 2002.
"The Asian businesses have undoubtedly been affected by a tough economic year but by and large, our research has shown that they have held their ground. The same cannot be said, however, for America's wealthiest Asians who have all made some staggering losses over the past two years.
"Some of these IT hot shots have been forced to stand and watch as their share prices plummeted in the shaky North American market place," Singh said.
The Eastern Eye justified the exclusion of Mittal and Hindujas from the list saying that its focus has been on Asians whose wealth is concentrated primarily in Britain.
"For this reason Lakshmi Mittal, the Hinduja Brothers and Manubhai Madhvani are not included as their assets are largely based outside the UK," a spokesman of the publisher said last night.
The Sunday Mail, which had published a list of 300 richest Britons earlier this year, had included the Hindujas and estimated that their wealth had gone up from pound 650 million last year to pound 670 million and slotted them at 40th position. It had included Mittal at 17th position with assets worth pound 1.2 billion.Others who received awards at Tuesday's function included Dr Sunny Luthra ('Newcomer of the Year' award), Firoz Kassam ('Entrepreneur of the Year' award for his success in the hotel industry) and Minal Vohra ('Young Achiever award for propagating Ayurveda') and Harish Patel ('Sewa award').