New Chair of our UK Advisory Council
The British Asian Trust is delighted to welcome distinguished entrepreneur and philanthropist Zameer Choudrey CBE, as the new Chair of our UK Advisory Council. Zameer takes over the role from Tom Singh OBE, whose strategic guidance and support have been instrumental to our growth over the years. The Trust is enormously grateful for Tom’s support and will continue to reap the fruit of all his hard work and guidance, as he continues as a member of the council. At this exciting time of change, we spoke to Zameer about his new role as Chair and what he most looks forward to in the years ahead.
As one of our longstanding supporters and a key part of our UK advisory council, what has motivated you to support the British Asian Trust over the years?
My initial and continued motivation to support the British Asian Trust is down to our shared values of helping the most disadvantaged sections of society.
In your new capacity as the Chair of our UK advisory council, what are you most looking forward to in the future of the Trust?
Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of myself and my fellow members of the Advisory Council to offer our most sincere thanks to Tom Singh, our outgoing Chair. I am very much looking forward to enhancing the outreach of the British Asian Trust within the UK. I believe as the CEO of the largest family owned Asian business in the country, Bestway Group is uniquely placed to leverage its entrepreneurial and philanthropic platforms for the greater benefit of the Trust.
What has been the biggest highlight of your business career to date? And some of the challenges?
The highlight has to be the transformation of Bestway Group from a regional cash and carry wholesaler into a diversified global multinational conglomerate. Our main challenge was the absence of an established business track record in every industry and geography when we first started out. In some ways we have been pioneers in our businesses and today our leadership positions are a testament to our ability to overcome even the most insurmountable of challenges.
Why do you think Bestway has been so successful? How have you remained competitive?
We have stayed successful because we are a dynamic and evolving family owned business – we are less averse to taking risks and more willing to take advantage of opportunities. We are backed by the loyalty of our customers; support of our supplier partners and the commitment of our people. This is how we have created a niche for ourselves that has helped us remain competitive.
How do you stay passionate about what you do?
The ability to contribute to the greater good of society; through job creation; by championing local schools and hospitals; to encourage and promote a culture of giving within the wider community by supporting local and national charities.
Philanthropy and giving back is a big part of your life, and in particular giving back to Pakistan. What approach to philanthropy have you adopted and how much has this been influenced by your business experiences?
For us, philanthropy and business go hand and hand. In fact, the corner stone corporate philosophy has been to rejuvenate the most marginalised sections of society in the UK and Pakistan. We have approached this by investing in employment creation and establishing affordable financial and social services for the poor.