Manoj Badale (Chairman)

Co-founder and Managing Partner of Blenheim ChalcotPhoto of Trustee Manoj Badale, Chairman

Manoj Badale was born in Dhule, Maharashtra, India; but grew up in the UK . He studied economics at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University.

He is the co-founder of over 15 businesses, largely technology-related, since 1998. They were set up with his business partner Charles Mindenhall and are run through their management company Blenheim Chalcot. Manoj and Charles’s first venture was netdecisions group, a major internet services provider, which has evolved into a broad-based IT services and outsourcing business now trading as Agilisys. While starting netdecisions, they co-founded a number of internet start ups – the First Resort (now part of TUI), mad about wine (now part of Fosters), woowho (now part of and (now part of EMAP).

Manoj also co-founded the technology companies Fluency, Eviivo and Steeltrace (now part of Compuware). In financial services, he co-founded TDX, Clear Start (now part of Fairpoint plc), Grove Capital and BMS Finance. In media, Manoj co-founded the Rights Company (now part of Warner Music), and has been active in Indian rights through Emerging Media. Recently, Manoj and Charles acquired Home Learning College, the country’s largest online vocational learning provider.

Manoj is the founding owner of the Rajasthan Royals IPL cricket franchise. Involved in extensive charitable activities, Manoj is chairman of both The British Asian Trust and Operation Smile UK . He was also a founding trustee of the Charity Technology Trust. Manoj was formerly a partner at Monitor Company, where he spent time in the UK, Germany and India.

“The organisations which we are working with in South Asia are running vital and inspirational projects with a high impact. We are delighted to be able to support their work in creating a sustainable future for these communities.”

Salman Mahdi (Vice-Chair)

Global Vice Chairman – Deutsche Bank Wealth Management

Salman joined Deutsche Bank AG in May 2003 and has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Salman acquired significant experience in corporate and investment banking, private wealth management and private equity in India, the UK, Switzerland and the Middle East.

“As a member of the Asian Diaspora, I feel particularly energized by the difference that each one of us can make in strengthening grass-roots relationships between those who need help and those who are best placed to provide it. Over the past 6 years that I have been associated, I have seen first-hand that The British Asian Trust provides a highly credible, creative, empathetic and powerful such bridge. It is a truly wonderful organisation, working with truly inspirational people and charities, touching the lives of millions of people.”

Salman is an Economics graduate from the University of Delhi and has attended management programmes at leading institutions including INSEAD. He has lived and worked in India, UK, UAE, Italy and Switzerland and is married to Anita, with two children.

His outside interests include sport, charity, music, art, literature, gastronomy and travel.

Nihal Arthanayake

BBC Broadcaster
Nihal ArthanayakeNihal is one of the most important broadcasters for BBC Radio 1, and one of the most high-profile British Asian broadcasters. He presents the BBC Radio 1 Review Show as well as ‘Nihal’ the award winning Asian/Desi Beats show on BBC Radio 1. He also presents ‘Nihal’ for the BBC Asian Network, a phone-in show that covers topics both political and social for the British Asian audience. This year the show won a prestigious Sony Radio Academy Award for best Speech Programme beating off competition from the World Service, LBC and Radio 4. He also makes many television appearances.



Shalni Arora

CEO of Savannah Wisdom, a charitable foundation 

Sonny Takhar

President of Syco Music

Sonny began his career in music at RCA Records and it is here where he first met Simon Cowell who asked him to head a new start up, a joint venture between Simon Cowell and Bertelsmann.

Sonny Takhar is President of Syco Music, a division of Syco Entertainment a partnership between Simon Cowell and Sony which over the past 10 years has launched some of the world’s biggest music superstars and TV formats including The X Factor, One Direction, Britain’s Got Talent, Susan Boyle, Labrinth, Leona Lewis, Il Divo, Westlife, Little Mix, and Ella Henderson to name a few. In all Sonny has been involved in selling over 250 million records over his career, achieving in excess of 360 Global No.1s.


Chris Mathias

Co-Founder of CMG Partners and Arbor Ventures

Photo of Trustee Chris Mathias

Chris Mathias was born and raised in India. He studied Politics and Economics at Bristol University and in 1987 completed an MBA at INSEAD in Paris graduating on the Dean’s List.

Chris has completed a number of successful business turnarounds and buyouts. He is the Co-Founder of CMG Partners and Arbor Ventures, both private investment management companies that focus on early stage companies as well as turnaround and restructure situations.

Chris is also the chairman and one of the seed funders of i2india, a technology commercialisation and investment company focused on creating commercial value from intellectual property developed in India.

“I believe it’s just as important to apply investment principles to not-for profit investments as it is to profiting-making investments and The British Asian Trust does just that.”

Chris was also a co-creator and seed funder of Digital Links which has had a significant impact on the use of technology in developing countries particularly Africa. He has been a trustee and board member of several organisations including Digital Links International and Common Purpose, Bioss and the advisory board of Barclays Private Bank.
Chris works with a number of charities and not-for-profit organisations. Projects that involve the use of ITC in education and international developments in India are of particular interest to him. He believes that charities should work to build lasting values, develop local skills and help the poverty-stricken.

He supported the start-up of Basic Needs India and he has also co-founded The Hummingbird Trust with his wife in 2007 to provide a family vehicle for their philanthropic activities; The Trust focuses mainly on women’s issues in India, in particular working with communities in Kolkata that are vulnerable to child trafficking.


Fayeeza Naqvi

Co-founder & Chairman, Aman Foundation 

Fayeeza has spent a lifetime working for the public good.  She graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1982. After a successful career in banking, she raised two sons while becoming increasingly immersed in social sector organizations in the Middle East and Pakistan. She was a founding Director of Saharay Welfare, established in 2000 as an umbrella organization with the mission of disbursing funds to deserving NGOs in Pakistan. She serves as trustee of the British Asian Trust, which strives to build self-sufficiency in South Asian communities through education, health and livelihood initiatives. Most recently, Fayeeza accepted an invitation to serve as a founding partner of LSE’s (London School of Economics) South Asia Centre Board.

Fayeeza is a strong supporter of art across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) regions. Through her patronage and expertise, she has raised the profile of many emerging artists amongst global exhibitors and major collections. She has also played a leading role in Art Dubai since its inception in 2007.  Fayeeza is a member of the Selection Committee for the Abraaj Group Art Prize, a member of the TATE Modern International Council as well as their acquisition committees for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

“The British Asian Trust has been instrumental in bridging understanding between donor organizations and philanthropists in the UK with remarkably important initiatives in South Asia. These will have a transformative impact by bringing best-in-class thinking and intervention methods to bear on the pressing social needs in those countries and delivering value exactly where it is needed, to the marginalized segments of society”.

Asif Rangoonwala

Founder of Eurobuns Ltd and CEO of South Street Asset ManagementPhoto of Trustee Asif RangoonwalaAsif Rangoonwala is a successful business entrepreneur with interests spanning the food, property and sport sectors. He is also heavily involved in philanthropic activities through the Rangoonwala Foundation established by his late father.

He is the founder of UK-based Eurobuns Limited, a hugely successful venture in the industrial baking sector, for which he received the Queens Award. The company was sold in May 2008 to Lantmannen Unibake. Asif is a key player in the Southstreet property business – a rapidly growing provider of student accommodation.

“My belief has always been ‘to supplement the efforts of others’ and The British Asian Trust is a perfect example of how to achieve the balance between NGOs and Donor Trusts, those who do the work and those who help by funding the work.”

He is passionate about sports, particularly powerboat racing, and manages the World Championship for Powerboat P1, the top class of speedboat races. As Chairman of the Rangoonwala Foundation, he manages the charity which provides vocational training, medical centres, libraries and other educational and life-enhancing facilities for marginalised communities worldwide. He is also a fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Trustee of the Whitefield Development Trust, Director of Indus Entrepreneurs UK and Chairman of the World Memon Foundation.

British Asian Trust