Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Playwright, Burlesque Dancer, Campaigners among 2013 Asian Women of Achievement nominees

A burlesque dancer, a young civil engineer who helped design the Shard of Glass, a heart-and-lung surgeon and a marketing executive tasked with developing the wonders of Google in Africa are among an eclectic list of inspirational women shortlisted for the 2013 Asian Women of Achievement awards.

The 50-strong list of outstanding achievers, unveiled today, will vie for honours in a total of 9 categories; Arts & Culture, Entrepreneurship, Business, Media, Professionals, Public Services, the Humanities, Young Achiever and Sport.

Among the notable nominees are Roma Agrawal, a Structural Engineer, who was instrumental in the design of the revolutionary Shard of Glass skyscraper in London; award winning TV actress, director and playwright Lolita Chakrabarti; Sukki Singapora, the first international burlesque dancer from Singapore; Shahin Virani, Chief Operating Officer of venerable auction house Bonhams 1793; Kalpna Woolf, head of production at the BBC; Payal Vasudeva, Managing Director at Accenture; social entrepreneur Malini Mehra, founder of the Centre for Social Markets responsible entrepreneurship program; Monica Thandi, founder of the Netball Development Trust, an organization which uses the sport to uplift poor communities in Africa and the sub-continent; and Nileeka Gunawardena, founder and principal dancer at Bollywood Dance London.



Founded in 1999, the Asian Women of Achievement awards is the brainchild of Pinky Lilani OBE, the Kolkatta-born author, gourmand and campaigner who was involved with the European Women of Achievement awards prior to establishing a similar event to honour her compatriots in Britain.

Previous AWA winners include actress Meera Syal, civil rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti, BBC Radio 4 presenter Ritula Shah and Sri Lankan Soprano Kishani Jayasinghe.

The Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2013 takes place Wednesday May 15 at the London Hilton, Park Lane.

The full list:

Achievement in Arts & Culture:
- Shalini Bhalla, creative director and founder, Just Jhoom!
- Lolita Chakrabarti, actress & writer
- Parvinder Kaur, manager and founder, Eternal Taal
- Nileeka Gunawardene, artistic director, Bollywood Dance London
- Divya Mathur, senior programme officer, High Commission of India
- Sukki Singapora, burlesque artist, The Singapore Burlesque Club

Achievement in Business:
- Yonca Brunini, VP marketing emerging EMEA, Google
- Viney Jung, Solicitor, notary public and tribunal judge, Jung & Co Solicitors
- Sue Kukadia, director - global immigration, Ernst & Young
- Shahin Virani, group COO, Bonhams 1793 Ltd
- Grace Wang, managing director, J.P. Morgan


Achievement in Entrepreneurship:
- Shaheen Bhatia, pharmacist owner, P&S Chemist
- Jaya Chakrabarti, CEO, Nameless Media Group
- Sipra Deb, director, The Play Arena
- Helen Dhaliwal, director, Red Hot World Buffet
- Shalini Khemka, chief executive and board director, E2Exchange

- Lisa Tse, founder, Sweet Mandarin Sauces

Achievement in Media:
- Rahila Bano, senior news reporter, BBC
- Ravinder Bhogal, broadcaster and writer
- Reeta Chakrabarti, education and social affairs correspondant, BBC
- Dina Medland, independent writer/ editor/ consultant
- Sandeep Sidhu, UK producer, ITV News
- Kalpna Woolf, head of production, BBC

Professional Achievement:
- Ishrat Bano, postdoctoral researcher, University of Cambridge
- Farah Bhatti, consultant cardiothoracic Surgeon,NHS
- Sadi Khan, head of training, Nobel Khan
- Usha Menon, professor of gynaecological cancer/ consultant gynaecologist, head of gynaecological cancer research centre, University College London
- Payal Vasudeva, managing director, Accenture
- Audrey Williams, partner, human resources group, Eversheds LLP

Achievement in Public Service:
- Dr Husna Ahmad, CEO, Faith Regen Foundation
- Tab Ahmad, founder and managing director, EmployAbility
- Dr Bela Arora, academic, University of Wales Newport
- Raj Bhamber, director of workforce and organisational development, Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- KarenjitClare, junior research fellow, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford
- Zehra Zaidi, national programme lead, UpRising Leadership Programme, The Young Foundation

Achievement in Social and Humanitarian Services:
- Samsunear Ali, deputy chief executive, Bawso
- Puja Handa, art of living teacher, Art of Living Foundation
- Polly Harrar, founder, The Sharan Project
- Hani Law
- Malini Mehra, founder, Centre for Social Markets
- Ahmereen Reza, honorary chairperson, Developments in Literacy Trust

Young Achiever of the Year:
- Roma Agrawal, associate Structural Engineer, WSP Group
- Megha Goel, fuel oil trader, Trafigura Pte
- Angela Jhanji, sustainability consultant, Accenture
- Romana Karim, management consultant, PwC
- Vidhyalakshmi Karthikeyan, senior researcher, BT Group
- Sanju Pal, founder, RISE

Achievement in Sport:
- Aisha Ahmad, CEO, All Sports Women
- Rimla Akhtar, chair, Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation
- Manisha Tailor, football coach/ sports journalist
- Monica Thandi, chairperson and founder, Netball Development Trust

Special Community Award
- Accenture
- The Home Office
- Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation
- Shell



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