Guest of Honour at IAB Annual Dinner Announced


Hussein Lalani co-founder of 99p Stores is guest of honour at IAB annual dinner

The guest speaker at this year’s Institute of Asian Businesses annual dinner and awards is one of Britain’s leading entrepreneurs, Hussein Lalani.

Mr Lalani is a co-founder of 99p Stores, which has just opened its 250th store in the UK, in its home town of Northampton, and is on course to record a turnover of £500m this year.

99p Stores was set up by Nadir Lalani and his two sons, Hussein and Faisal, in 2001.

The Lalanis have retailing in their blood – Nadir Lalani first came to Britain in 1973, from Tanzania, where he owned a wholesale business and general store. In the UK, he established and sold two convenience store chains, before moving into discount retailing with his two sons.

The first 99p Store was in Holloway, with three others opening in the same year, and it was the collapse of Woolworths six years ago that helped the family accelerate the growth of their business. The family took over 80 former Woolworths stores, which was a massive expansion of the firm.

Mr Lalani said: “My dad started with a typical Asian corner shop in Muswell Hill. One of the Woolworths stores we took over was opposite to it.

“This is very much a family business, and the great inspiration for me was my grandma, who ran a wholesaling business in Tanzania.

“My message to the IAB event will be a bit of an inspirational one as well – I want to show that everyone can achieve anything, with hard work, smart work and having your family behind you, you can achieve anything.”

IAB president Saqib Bhatti said: “I am very excited to have Mr Lalani, founder and managing director of 99p Stores as our keynote speaker.

“I have no doubt he will follow our prestigious list of annual dinner speakers from past years and captivate our guests with his story of how the 99p Stores grew to be a high street stalwart with many millions in turnover.”

This year’s IAB dinner and awards takes place on 29 November at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre, and is expected to attract a capacity crowd of 500.

Mr Bhatti said: “The IAB Annual Dinner has proved to be one of the top engagements on the Birmingham business social calendar and this year will prove to be no different.

“It is an evening jam-packed with entertainment, awards celebrating the region’s top business talent, great food and of course networking with the top businesspeople and institutions from across the West Midlands.”  


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