top of page

2023 Finalists

Welcome to the ABC Awards Dinner 2023 Finalists. 

Congratulations to those who have been nominated!

Name and Description of each finalist can be found under their Award Category and Photo.

3rd Sector

Supported by

sme logo.png
Sanjeev Vedhera from Dragonfly Trust.png

Dragonfly Trust

A nonprofit organisation committed to improving the lives of children and young people facing life-limiting cancer diagnoses. Through memorable experiences and financial assistance, they create lasting memories and provide vital support to patients and their families, making a positive impact in the community.


Indian Association North East

In April 2023, the IANE was formed to promote Indian arts and culture. They organised a successful cultural event, uniting 750 attendees and supporting various cultural groups in the North East.

anglo asian.png

Anglo-Asian Friendship Society

The Anglo Asian Friendship Society, founded in 1984, provides free expert advice sessions and fosters interfaith friendships among young British Muslims.

pakistancultural society.jpg

Pakistani Cultural Society

The Pakistani Cultural Society is a dynamic platform dedicated to preserving, celebrating, and representing Pakistani heritage. Through various activities, it fosters cultural understanding, community belonging, and multicultural appreciation.

BME Network.jpg

BME Network Tees Valley

The BME Network Tees Valley is dedicated to supporting and representing ethnic communities in the region. They empower voices often unheard, work for equality, and foster community cohesion.

Outstanding Teesside Business

Supported by

Dr Rashpal Singh.png

Dr Rashpal Singh

A highly acclaimed figure in aesthetic medicine, known for his global expertise and numerous awards. He's a respected educator, sharing his knowledge worldwide, and his approach emphasises natural enhancements. Dr. Singh's impact on the industry and countless individuals is remarkable.

Imran Anwar from Alt Labs.jpg

Alt Labs

Imran Anwar, Alt Labs' CEO, is a global leader in innovation and software development. His leadership has transformed Alt Labs, mentoring over 180 start-ups, securing £23+ million in funding, and receiving awards for his dedication to innovation.

Linthorpe Pharmacy.png

Linthorpe Pharmacy

Linthorpe Pharmacy, founded in 2019, offers free prescription delivery across Tees Valley and beyond, while ensuring safe and high-quality service. 

Like Us.png

Like Us

A leading UK business support agency, focused on growth and innovation. Established by specialists, they provide innovative solutions to industry challenges, leveraging our diverse team's deep understanding of both public and private sectors.

Public Sector

Iqbal Syed.jpg

Dr Iqbal Syed

A Ph.D. in South Asian history and a Family Support Officer at Newcastle City Council. He's involved with community groups and serves as a trustee for organisations like Success4All and International Emergency UK. He also represents UNISON Northern Region on the Black Members National Committee.

Jabir Ahmed.jpg

Jabir Ahmed

A senior civil servant at the UK Department for Business and Trade, manages inward investments and fosters international relationships. With over a decade in Financial Services, he's a key figure in job creation and significant investments in the UK, emphasising diversity and inclusion in his role.

Juna Sathian.jpg

Juna Sathian

An Associate Professor at Northumbria University, a pioneer in physics and a STEM advocate. She invented the world's first room-temperature diamond MASER technology and received significant EPSRC funding in 2023. She's also Newcastle City Council's first Indian-origin Councillor and leads initiatives for climate change and community welfare.

Ummar Hanif.jpg

Ummar Hanif

A Special Constable inspired by his family's police background and a history of volunteerism. He invests numerous hours responding to 999 calls in Gateshead and Newcastle, receiving recognition for his dedication, including the prestigious 'Ferrers Special Constabulary-Individual Award' in 2022. 


Supported by

Anu Kaura.png

Anu Kaura

Head of Legal and Group In-House Lawyer at the Malhotra Group with 23 years of legal experience. She also serves as the Chair of the Law Society In-House Division, supporting the legal community's growth.

Jerry Arneja.jpeg

Jerry Arneja

Jerry is the Area Director for Business Banking in North & Central HSBC UK. He has over two decades of experience in the financial sector and is known for his various roles, including Commercial Relationship Manager. 

Poonam Singh.jpg

Poonam Singh

Lead Specialist Nurse and Chair of the Quality of Patient Experience Group, an advocate for diversity and equality in her role as a governor for nursing and midwifery, and serves as the co-chair of the race equality network. Over 15 years of community service, she's inspired others to join the healthcare profession, leaving a lasting impact.

Sahil Nayyar.jpg

Sahil Nayyar

A Chartered Accountant and adept dealmaker with over a decade of experience in M&A, excels in transactions involving businesses. He's widely respected in the North East for his revenue-generating initiatives and actively promotes corporate finance careers, emphasising diversity in the region.

Nazmin Aktar.jpg

Nazmin Akthar

An Associate Solicitor at Womble Bond Dickinson, specialising in real estate. She's engaged in housing advocacy, diversity promotion, and serves on committees like the North East Pro Bono Committee. Additionally, Nazmin co-founded the Nisa Global Foundation, supports charitable projects, and serves as a trustee and Co-Chair of Muslim Women's Network UK, advocating for gender equality and justice.

Prianka Jaidka.png

Prianka Jaidka

A dedicated advocate with extensive expertise in areas like health, D&I, and organisational change. She champions employee-driven ED&I affinity groups and was selected as a judge for the CIPD People Management Awards 2023, underscoring her thought leadership in HR. She extends her HR knowledge to support her local community through volunteering, spanning roles such as school governor and mentor for MBA students.


Supported by

images (2).png
Kamran Ali.png

Kamran Ali

Kamran's hard work in the last 12 months, has helped his business expand to 17 cities, with new services and qualifications in aesthetics. He's thankful for client support and nominations, aiming to top off a great year with an award.

Mumbai Cafe.jpg

Mumbai Cafe

Established in early 2023, is a newcomer to Newcastle's food scene, bringing the vibrant flavors of Indian street food and authentic curries to the city. Acquiring Country Whey in Jesmond as part of the venture, they aim to offer affordable, high-quality, and authentic Indian cuisine.



Sehir Amran, a 20-year old entrepreneur launched Viviface in December 2022, specialising in non-surgical beauty enhancements. Dedicated to providing painless treatments and Sehir has a strong foundation in Anatomy and Physiology for exceptional results. Sehir is also committed to empowering young individuals by providing employment opportunities through her business.



Founded during the pandemic by Kanika Singh, specialises in event decorations with floral arrangements and wedding setups. This venture started as a simple idea to bring cheer with balloons. Now, Airbae is all about crafting memorable moments through unique balloon art and innovative concepts. Their dedicated team continuously creates fresh ideas to cater to each client's unique requirements and themes.

Peter Saleem 2.png

Peter Saleem

Peter Saleem has been passionate about business from a young age. Over the last 27 years, he's excelled in various industries alongside his parents. His commitment to excellence has garnered his business, awards like Independent Retailer of the Year. Peter is equally devoted to supporting local charities and the community, especially during the pandemic, demonstrating his strong dedication to helping those in need.

Payal Singh.jpeg

Payal Singh

Payal Singh, founder of Arshita Jewellery and Handicrafts Ltd, creates unique handmade jewellery and artifacts. Her journey from microbiology to entrepreneurship has been fulfilling. With a strong focus on quality and unique designs, she is also active in charity sponsorship and cultural heritage support.

Health & Life Science

Supported by

Asset 1 (1).webp
Aisha Purvis.jpg

Aisha Purvis

Aisha, CEO of Sensmart Ltd, revolutionises HealthTech with Numenyu®, a multi-sensory menu to enhance nutrition in clinical settings and reduce malnutrition. The company collaborates with major organisations in the North East and is developing bespoke software to support healthcare professionals.

Safwan Akram.jpg

Safwan Akram

A Cambridge and MIT-trained Biotechnologist, Dr Muhammad Safwan Akram is an Associate Professor at the National Horizons Centre, Teesside University. Leading well-funded research to reduce bioprocess costs, especially in cancer drugs and cell & gene therapies. Developed educational modules to bridge the skills gap in the UK and led NHC's enterprise strategy. Published in prestigious journals. Recipient of university-wide Star Awards for teaching, recognized for inspiration by both students and staff.

Imran Ahmed.JPG

Imran Ahmed

A Neonatal Consultant, originally trained in Southern India and later specialised in Neonatology in the UK. With over two decades of experience, he has been instrumental in promoting innovation in healthcare as the Director of Innovation at South Tyneside & Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. Dr. Ahmed combines his medical expertise with interests in motorbikes, food, and travel outside of work.

Shkun Chadda.jpg

Shkun Chadda

With 25 years of experience, Shkun is a seasoned Health Economist with over 50 publications cited nearly 700 times. She's held key roles in Market Access, co-founded SIRIUS Market Access, and retired as an Executive Vice President at Genesis Research, now dedicating her time to mentoring.

Scaling Business

Supported by

Surbhi Vedhara.jpg

Surbhi Vedhara

A specialist property Solicitor and Managing Partner at Sweeney Miller Law. She joined the firm in 2002, became an Equity Partner in 2013, and took on the role of Managing Partner in 2021. Under her leadership, the firm has grown significantly and she's a strong advocate for diversity and talent development. She's a trusted adviser to her clients and colleagues.

Mr Bhavesh Vasa.JPG

Mr Bhavesh Vasa

Director of SBV Law Firm, transitioned from criminal law in Mumbai to immigration law in the UK, establishing his firm in 2023. He's dedicated to providing exceptional legal support while actively engaging with professionals. Bhavesh serves as a Trustee at a Newcastle Hindu temple and as Governance Officer for the Indian Association Northeast, aiming to inspire and make a lasting impact.

Uma Malhotra.png

Uma Malhotra

Uma manages six companies under the name Cover Beauty. She began her journey in Wolverhampton, went on to work in the beauty industry, and now employs over 35 individuals from diverse backgrounds. Her future plans include opening more beauty salons and a training academy.

my delhi.jpg

My Delhi

My Delhi set out to redefine the UK's dining scene by bringing the heart of Delhi to its restaurants. Their dedication to authenticity and exceptional customer service led to numerous awards, including winning Britain's Top Takeaways in 2022. They've expanded with new locations in Sunderland and Leicester, solidifying their position in the UK's food industry.

Dr Atif Syed.png

Dr Atif Syed

An accomplished engineer and CEO of Wootzano, is revolutionising the food industry with AvaraiTM, a cutting-edge robotic system. His pioneering electronic skin technology, awarded the Princess Royal Silver Medal, enhances robots' sensory capabilities. AvaraiTM improves productivity, reducing human labor needs by 60% for a UK retailer. Wootzano's global expansion and 30+ patents position it as a leader in the post-harvest industry, transforming food production worldwide.

We would like to say a big good luck to all of our 2023 finalists from all of us at ABC.

Limited Tickets remain, click below to secure your spot.

bottom of page