The Asian Awards is now in its fourth iteration and is going from strength to strength. AWM talks to its founder, Paul Sagoo, as he tells us about his plans to raise the bar once more.
What is your strategy for the Asian Awards in 2014?
We want to build on the pan-Asian expansion from the third awards which took place in 2013. We received overwhelming support about the decision to make the awards a pan-Asian event, proving it was the correct strategy to follow. We also want to continue to involve brands who reflect our quality level and the wealth in the room. We already have a number of very high end luxury brands who have signed up for this year.
What can we expect from the night, any new categories or features?
I think it’s fair to say that over the last three events we have raised the bar each time in terms of the quality of the event, people attending in general and the media coverage. Our winners are always of the highest calibre and I expect that to be the case at this, our fourth event. We have discussed some new categories this year as many people have told us that there are some areas that perhaps we need to highlight specifically, such as education. We are still working on the plans for this as adding awards is not something we take lightly and there has to be a definite reason for doing so.
What are you plans to develop the Asian Awards as a brand in the next five years?
We will continue to deliver on the awards each year whilst looking at areas to improve each time. There are obviously some areas that we can look to expand the brand, most notably, through television rights (global) and potentially moving the event to another country. I often tell people that our event is a global one that “just happens” to take place in London. If you look at our previous winners it is feasible to suggest that the event could take place in places like New York, Los Angeles or even Dubai. My personal preference is to take the event to either Los Angeles or New York as I feel the diaspora there is certainly more pan-Asian than in the UK. On that note, we are also looking to push the pan-Asian aspect of the event and make people aware globally that when we say “Asian Awards”, we really mean it.
In your opinion, is it still as important as ever to have an evening celebrating pan-Asian achievement?
Absolutely yes. The success of the Asian Awards to date is reflective of this requirement. We have many guests who value what we have created and genuinely look forward to our event as the highlight of their year. The importance of countries like China, Singapore, Japan and India for the UK is becoming stronger. Exports to these countries from the UK are up year on year and they are becoming very important to the future and long-term stability of the British economy. The Asian Awards are an important active enabler of this growth and the event itself provides a great platform for companies wishing to interact with those regions.
Can people nominate candidates for the Asian Awards, or are they picked by the judging panel?
We do accept nominations which ultimately augment the long list that is reviewed by the judges. Our criteria are very high and we do often find nominations being provided at a much lower level and hence they generally donot make the long list. We will always consider nominations if they are at the right level of achievement.
What are the judges’ looking for in an Asian Awards winner?
The judges look for candidates that are consistently high achievers and portray excellence in not only their chosen careers but also in other areas of their lives. They are looking for overall positive contributors to society.