By Ninder Kaur
The Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2015 took place at the London Hilton, Park Lane on Tuesday 19 May to celebrate the unsung heroines of British life.
The annual award ceremony, which was co-founded by Pinky Lilani OBE DL in 1999 celebrates women’s achievement.
The event, which is now in its 16th year aims to highlight the often-overlooked contribution that Asian women make to sectors including business, sport and culture.
Winners were chosen from 10 categories that included awards for Young Achiever, Sport and Community.
One of this year’s notable winners was Managing Director and Founder of Curzon PR, Farzana Baduel, who was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the event.
This award recognises women who have set up and grown their own businesses whilst overcoming the risks of establishing their own venture and have shown the ambition, energy, skill and vision to scale further heights.
Farzana was presented the award by Miriam González Durántez, partner of international legal practice, Dechert and Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO of Mitie Group. The judges’ said that “[Farzana] has a clear strategic vision and strong, all-round, people skills. The panel said they wouldn’t hesitate to invest in her.”
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is the second accolade Baduel has received in the past 12 months. She was previously awarded the Media Professional of the Year accolade at the 2014 Asian Media Awards and was shortlisted for Businesswoman of the Year at the 2014 British Muslim Awards.
Baduel started Curzon PR in 2009 and has grown the company into a leading media agency with arts and cultural institutions, international government projects and NYSE-listed companies as clients. Farzana has recently overseen a period of rapid international expansion. Curzon PR’s Dubai office opened in May 2015 with the New York office having opened in January 2015.
“It is an honour to receive this award. Starting Curzon PR six years ago at the height of the recession was a significant gamble and growing the company has been a true labour of love. It is a pleasure to see my goal of building a strategic, international and results based public relations and communications agency, recognised,” said Farzana Baduel. “I am particularly proud to be given this award by an organisation that does such excellent work in recognising the achievements of Britain’s Asian women.”
Farzana contributes to media outlets including BBC, Business Today, The Guardian, Al Jazeera and Management Today on subjects including diversity in the creative industries and cultural diplomacy. She is also on the board of CARE Pakistan, Pakistan’s biggest NGO providing free education to over 175,000 children across Pakistan.
Other notable winners on the night included comedian/ actor/writer Sajeela Kershi who scooped the award in the Arts and Culture category. Armi Dheensa, Executive Director for Include Me TOO won the Social and Humanitarian award for setting up a national charity dedicated to supporting ethnic minority disabled children and their families.
The full list of winners for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2015 can be found at awaawards.com