Celebrating Asian Business Success and 20 Years of IAB; since It Was Set Up in 1987, the Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB) Has Burgeoned from a Small Organisation to One of the Most Successful in the Region. Tom Scotney Looks at How Life Has Changed for Asian Businessmen and Women over the Last 20 Years - through the Work of the Former Chairs of the IAB

The Birmingham Post (England), November 2, 2007 | Go to article overview

Celebrating Asian Business Success and 20 Years of IAB; since It Was Set Up in 1987, the Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB) Has Burgeoned from a Small Organisation to One of the Most Successful in the Region. Tom Scotney Looks at How Life Has Changed for Asian Businessmen and Women over the Last 20 Years - through the Work of the Former Chairs of the IAB


Byline: Tom Scotney

Defining the way forward for the IAB was the task of Amrik Singh Sahota OBE, who in becoming the second chair of the organisation in 1992, set a clear vision for the Institute.

"I wished to ensure the voice of the Asian business community was heard, and explained to the community that it was in their own interests to become involved with appropriate organisations so that they could have a say in decision making," he says.

Under the leadership of the fourth chair, Younis Bhatti, the IAB further developed as a professional organisation.

"We established a constitution and set clear and common goals for the Institute to achieve", he says.

"We also started to spread the word about the IAB internationally, undertaking trips to India, Pakistan, Dubai and Abu Dhabi to meet with key business people and to promote the role of the Institute".

Mak Ghattaura was made a CBE this year for his services to the Asian business community in the West Midlands.

As chairman of the IAB for three years from 1999 he helped several hundred members around Birmingham and the West Midlands succeed in the world of business. "I can proudly say that what I did in my years there was very successful," he says.

Another former chairman, Jindy Khera, agreed that the rise of the IAB had been fantastic, adding: "Its role has evolved over the years with the changing needs of Asian businesses.

While in the early days more efforts and energy were spent in raising awareness and recruitment drives, the late years have seen development of networking and second-generation businesses.

"The Asian business community of the first generation was successful in its own right but was unaware of various help and support available in the West Midlands to commercial enterprises.

"The IAB has been instrumental in bringing to the forefront the contribution of the Asian businesses to the economy of the West Midlands and indeed the UK."

Nazir Awan, chairman from 1994 to 95, agreed that the Asian business community in the West Midlands had come a long way.

"The Asian business community is far more professional and much more educated in the different aspects of business now than it was when I started," he says.

"The community was not well versed in many aspects of business including health and safety, hygiene regulations and laws concerning dealings with banks, revenue and customs etc.

"We had many seminars concerning all the issues, and they were well attended and a lot of networking also took place as well as the social events we organised."

Since 1987 the IAB has gone from a small organisation to one of the most successful in the city, currently working with bodies across the region to improve working conditions for Asian business owners in the West Midlands. …

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Celebrating Asian Business Success and 20 Years of IAB; since It Was Set Up in 1987, the Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB) Has Burgeoned from a Small Organisation to One of the Most Successful in the Region. Tom Scotney Looks at How Life Has Changed for Asian Businessmen and Women over the Last 20 Years - through the Work of the Former Chairs of the IAB
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