Celebrating South Asian Heritage Month

South Asian Heritage month

In a celebration of South Asian Heritage Month, three Indian speakers shared their experiences at the NatWest Accelerator Hub in Birmingham. This was to provide valuable insights into what had influenced and motivated them throughout their lives - with the abiding mantra that we should all energetically pursue each and every opportunity we encounter.

The celebration demonstrated the diversity of the West Midlands, bringing together academia, business and entrepreneurs from across the region who shared inspiring stories and conversations. They also had the opportunity to network. 

The three speakers included Sergeant Sarvjit Pal Singh OBE, who shared his experiences of growing up in Ambala Cantt in India. He came to Britain to join the British army and has become a senior non-commissioned officer (SNCO). Having served 17 years in the army, Sarvjit described his experience of being a Sikh and emphasised the importance of empathy in providing leadership to others. 

Gurcharan Mall BEM made a grand entrance playing a 'dhol', or double-sided barrel drum, in traditional Indian costume. He emphasised the importance of dedicating maximum effort to everything he does, and made clear his belief that family is crucial to success.

Deputy Lord Lieutenant Dr Nasir Awan MBE also shared his experience of growing up in Peshawar, Pakistan, in the late 50s. Aged nine, Dr Awan emigrated to Britain to join his father. He grew his business selling radios, televisions and audio products. His advice to attendees was that we should pursue our dreams but should also be prepared for challenges, disappointment and, inevitably, for any business plans to cope with change. 

Dr Awan has an honorary doctorate from BCU and is Director of The Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce group, Chair of Asian Business Chamber of Commerce and adviser to a plethora of business groups.

Head of Compliance Anita Virk and Associate Professor Steve McCabe were in attendance.

Head of Compliance Anita Virk said: "Being a second generation in the UK of Indian heritage, it was warming to hear of the varying challenges faced in building success and how the acceptance of diversity continues to change and improve for future generations. BCU is a great exemplar in supporting our diverse communities."

Professor Steve McCabe said: "As the child of Irish immigrants, it's a privilege to attend an event celebrating Asian stories. As the speakers stressed, Britain is a country welcoming diversity and commitment to economic improvement. The life stories presented at this event were truly inspiring. The three speakers serve as a shining beacon of the incredible benefits of multiculturalism."

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