The UK-India Awards saw a host of Indian expats among the winners. British Indian actor, best known for his role as Rajesh Koothrappali on the US sitcom ‘The Big Bang Theory’ was a proud winner as the Global Icon of the Year along with Indian hospitality start-up Oyo won in the Market Entrant of the year category and Indian-origin peer and Cobra Beer founder Lord Karan Bilimoria, who was presented with a special Significant Contribution to UK-India Relations Award.
The awards marked the conclusion of the annual UK-India Week, which kicked off on Monday with the first-ever India Day in the Houses of Parliament in London and a three-day Global Leaders’ Summit of panels, speeches and discussions among prominent policy makers and business leaders across the US, UK and India.
The award winners were selected by an all-women judging panel for the first time, including Director and Chief Counsel of Rolls-Royce plc Deborah D’Aubney and prominent Indian-origin anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller.
Veteran British journalist Sir Mark Tully was presented with a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his contributions to the UK-India relationship.
Tully, the former Bureau Chief of the BBC, New Delhi, received a standing ovation from the gathering.
“I owe a great debt to India and I have been rewarded way beyond my expectations,” said the 83-year-old, who has been previously knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the UK and conferred with the Padma Bhushan in India.
The Start-up of the Year Award, sponsored by Indian software services major Infosys, was won by Maanch, a new platform that matches funders and receivers to accelerate global sustainable development.