Midland property magnate Paul Bassi and Wolverhampton comedienne Meera Syal have been named today among the top Asian professionals who have contributed billions of pounds to the UK economy.
Mr Bassi, the joint head of West Bromwich landlord Bond Wolfe, and Ms Syal, who rose to fame in Goodness Gracious Meand The Kumars at Number 42, are honoured by The Institute of Asian Professionals (IAP).
Other Midland-based Asians featured in the inaugural Asian Power 100 List include Lord Tarsem King, the former leader of Sandwell council, Professor Kumar Bhattacharyya, of Warwick Manufacturing Group and Labour MEP Neena Gill.
The IAP said the British Asian community generates a "staggering" £103 billion per annum despite many having arrived in this country penniless, homeless and unable to speak the language.
The Asian Power 100 List pays tribute to the extraordinary inroads that the community has made in Britain over the last 50 years.
Lords, ladies, educators, entrepreneurs, financiers, scientists, philanthropists, lawyers, surgeons, retailers, community leaders, and designers will gather at The Hilton Hotel, Park Lane tonight to celebrate their contributions.
Khalid Darr, chairman of the IAP, said: " The figures are quite staggering.
"Many on the list arrived on these shores without a penny to their name and they have built multi-million pound business empires.
"Asians make up around 2.5 per cent of the population yet they are generating around ten per cent of the nation's GDP.
"Entrepreneurship, coupled with a wonderful work ethic fuelled with a desire to better oneself is a potent force driving the British Asian business community.
"I believe that other sectors of the community could do worse than study our methods and resolve and follow in our footsteps."
Among the other business people featured on the list are Lakshmi Mittal, who runs LNM the world's second largest steel company and Arun Sarin, the head of telecoms giant Vodafone.
Others include Nighat Awan, chief executive of the Shere Khan Group and Sir Gulam Noon, whose Noon Products turns over more than £100 million producing 1.2 million ready meals a week from its three UK plants.
Lord Bhattacharyya, who came to the UK from India when he was 20, said he was delighted to be named in the list. But he insisted he was an ordinary British citizen,
He said: "If you come into a country, that is the culture you should adapt to, no matter what your background is. It's nice to be named, but I am an ordinary British citizen."
Lord Bhattacharyya said many Asians had been successful in the UK because they strived to work hard and differently.
He said: "The majority of Asians when they came to this country did not want to depend on the state but did things for themselves.
"When many came here in the 1970s from Kenya and Uganda, the culture of business changed. It was no longer just nine to five."
But having money was not enough on its own if the community was to gain respect, he added. " Acceptability and respect is about what you achieve during your stay here, what you have given to the country.
"Wealth is not enough: you have to be a good, honest British citizen. If you only believe in being a British Asian, that can lead to an incestuous society and that's when trouble starts."