‘Our time has arrived’ was the cry from the West Midlands Metro Mayor Andy Street at the 4th Signature Awards which took place at the ICC on the 16th Feb. Over 550 attendees were reminded that the West Midlands is now getting into the habit of ‘winning’ and the recent successes of Coventry’s bid for City of Culture and the landing of the Commonwealth Games were testament of the confidence in the region. He spoke about future plans for the region including the impact that HS2 would have on the region.’

Key note speaker Derby based Entrepreneur Kavita Oberoi spoke about the importance of persistence and perserverance. She described how despite obstacles she managed to succeed in a very competitive environment. Kavita also encouraged philantrophy and the importance of ‘giving’ back and challenged the audience to review how they give back to society. In the week that celebrated Women receiving the vote, Kavita also reminded the audience that women were increasingly playing an important role in business.

Organiser Ninder Johal re-iterated the Mayors comments and was pleased to that there was optimism surrounding the possibility of Channel 4 also relocating to the region. Mr Johal also spoke about the importance of skills and education in a post brexit era and the need to innovate in an ever increasingly competitive global marketplace.

The evening saw the crowning of businesses and professions in various categories acknowledging the importance of both manufacturing and the service industries.

There was a lifetime achievement award for Paul Sabapathy who has through his long career been recognised by the Queen on three separate occasions for services to regeneration and business through his role as former Lord Lieutenant and CEO in the NHS.

Other winners included the fast growing accountancy practice Baldwins who picked up the Excellence in Finance for Organisations  and Black Country Based Talash Hotels who picked up ‘Excellence in Business’. Further winners included Ruzwan Boota from Mazars ( Excellence in Finance for an Individual), Eileen Schofield ( Excellence in Law as an individual ), Raj Chadha ( Excellence in Creative and Media ), Trowers and Hamlins ( Excellence in Law for an Organisation), Rin Ryan of Barclays for Excellence in Banking, Simon Marks ( excellence in Land, Architecture and Property Development ), In Comm training ( Excellence in Promoting Apprenticeships), Kamran Sheikh ( Excellence in the Business Professions for Owner Practice ), Irwin Mitchell ( Excellence in Diversity) and  Gurpreet Bassi ( Young Professional of the Year ) .

The headline sponsor for the evening was Birmingham City University. Other supported sponsors included Rational FX, Porsche, Hollywood Monster, NFU Mutual, University of Wolverhampton, FBC Manby Bowdler, Pathway Group, Vision Print, East End foods and Made in the Midlands.

See the full list of winners below:


Excellence In Finance (Individual) – Ruzwan Boota (Mazars)
Excellence In Finance (Organisation) – Baldwins Accountants
Excellence In Law (Individual) – Eileen Schofield (Schofield and Associates Employment Lawyers)
Excellence In Law (Organisation) – Trowers & Hamlins
Excellence In Creative & Media – Raj Chadha (Ramada Hotel)
Young Professional of the Year – Gurpreet Bassi (SDL Auctions Bigwood)
Excellence In Banking – Rin Ryan (Barclays)
Excellence In Business – Sanjay and Ravi Kathuria (Talash Hotels)
Excellence In Land, Architecture and Property Development – Simon Marks (Arcadis)
Excellence In Diversity– Irwin Mitchell
Excellence In The Business Professions For Owner Practice – Kamran Sheikh (Morgan Reach Accountants)
Excellence In Promoting Apprenticeships – In-Comm Training
Highly Commended – Jagjeet Singh Virdee (Inspire International UK Ltd) & Vic Younis (Wall James Chappell Solicitors)
Highly Commended – Edward Cooper Young Chartered Surveyors
Lifetime Achievement Award – Paul Sabapathy




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