Winners and shortlist

The Powerlist has been whittled down from hundreds of brilliant nominations to 101 people from across the Northern Powerhouse.

28 July 2020

The Northern Asian Powerlist profiles the achievements of the top Asian businesses, professionals, influencers, and politicians from across the Northern Powerhouse. From the digital and creative sector, to politics and medicine, the Asian community is making an impact.

These individuals topped the inaugural 2020 list of the most influential people of Asian heritage across the Northern Powerhouse.

  • Politics and Diplomacy - The Rt. Hon. Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Digital and Technology - Furqan Alamgir, Founder and Chief Executive of Connexin
  • Women in Business - Karina Jadhav, Managing Director of Menagerie Restaurant
  • Business Leader - Simon Arora, Chief Executive Officer of B&M Group
  • Emerging Talent: Emerging Entrepreneurs - Sonya Bachra-Byrne, Co-founder and Creative Director of AVIE
  • Emerging Talent: Emerging Leader - Amir Hussain, Chief Executive of Yeme Architects
  • Inspiring Professionals - Syima Aslam, Managing Director and Artistic Director of the Bradford Literature Festival
  • Thought Leaders - Nazir Afzal OBE, Former Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England
  • Cultural Icons - Kully Thiarai, Creative Director of Leeds 2023


“To be recognised by your peers is both a delight and a responsibility, particularly in these challenging times. This award honours the many people to whom I owe my good fortune. The diversity of this great nation is its strength and I am so pleased that we continue to celebrate it.” Nazir Afzal OBE former was Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England

“I am delighted to have been selected as the winner of such a prestigious category amongst so many admirable nominees, all of whom are paving the way for Asian business women in the North” Karina Jadhav, Managing Director, Menagerie Restaurant & Bar

“I am both humbled and delighted for this recognition. What I do would not be possible without the great team around me and the customers who have believed in us and embraced the pioneering technology that Connexin is known for. I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to the judges and those who nominated me.” Furqan Alamgir, Chief Executive Officer, Connexin

“I am truly delighted to have been nominated for this award and have had many proud moments across my career. One of the proudest moments in business was receiving an MBE in the Queen’s Honours List for services to innovation and the economy in Tyne and Wear, which I dedicated to my mother, as I have never forgotten that it was her recipes which made all this possible, and to my wife, without whose support and partnership I would not have been able to dedicate the time I have to our business. I’m also very proud to have blazed a trail in hospital catering and to have contributed to improving the lives and wellbeing of patients, as well as contributing to ground-breaking concepts within the catering sector. It’s a little clichéd, but I have always lived by the motto, “The impossible we can do at once, miracles will take a little longer.” Mohammed Ishaq MBE, Managing Director, Punjab Kitchen

“B&M is proud of its North West roots and our strong record of job creation for tens of thousands of colleagues we now employ across the North. I applaud this initiative that seeks to encourage the important contribution that the Asian community is making to the economy and life in the region more broadly.” Simon Arora, Chief Executive Officer, B&M Group

To find out more about the inspirational individuals which make up the Northern Asian Powerlist, please download the full report.