Top 5 couples in Philanthropy
Simon & Shalni Arora are Patrons of The British Asian Trust with Shalni a members for the BAT North Chapter which organised the North Ball this year, raising almost half a million pounds for the charity. Simon Arora is CEO of the retail chain B&M, run jointly with his brothers brothers Bobby and Robin, and Shalni Arora is the founder Savannah Wisdom, an independent foundation committed to social change for a better world.
Hotelier Surinder Arora and his wife Sunita Arora set-up The Arora Charitable Foundation which so far has contributed over £1,500,000 to good causes. The Foundation organises the Arora Ball each year to raise funds for the underprivileged, particularly in education and healthcare. Entrepreneur Fukhera ‘Frank’ Khalid, founder of Elbrook cash-and-carry and Chak89 conference and banqueting venue, and Sajida ‘Sasha’ Khalid have been involved in many charity projects over the years, raising in excess of £250,000 for Autism Anglia, the National Autistic Society and Unicef, among others. The couple are also supporters of the British Asian Trust (BAT) and in 2015, Frank became a BAT patron.
Eros International Kishore Lulla and his wife Manjula Lulla, are Founding Trustees of The Lulla Foundation which was set-up in 2011 to provide learning and teaching support for deprived communities in India. Dr Vijay and Smita Patel are one of the most successful pharmacist couples in the UK. Smita Patel said she and her husband wanted to use their wealth to benefit others so in March 2016, they donated £1 million to De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), he biggest single donation by individuals in DMU’s history.
Top 5 Asian Power Couples for Philanthropy
- Simon and Shalni Arora
- Surinder & Sunita Arora
- Frank & Sasha Khalid
- Kishore & Manjula Lulla
- Vijay & Smita Patel
Simon & Shalni Arora
Simon Arora is a British billionaire businessman, CEO of the retail chain B&M, run jointly with his brothers brothers Bobby and Robin – the brothers have a net worth of £1.75 billion. B&M has 480 stores across the UK and Germany, employs 19,000 people jobs and it became one of the biggest listings on the London Stock Exchange in 2015 at £1.7 billion. After completing a law degree from Cambridge University, Simon worked as an analyst in McKinsey’s London office, as an investment executive, and as a money market trader before founding B&M.
Shalni Arora, a Natural Sciences Graduate from Cambridge University was a co-founder of bio-tech business DxS – which was sold to a Dutch pharmaceuticals group in a deal worth up to £80m in September 2009. After the sale she completed a Master’s in International Development at The University of Manchester before founding Savannah Wisdom, an independent foundation committed to social change for a better world, in April 2011. Shalni & Savannah Wisdom are supporters of The British Asian Trust. In 2013, the second year of the partnership under the direction of Shalni Arora, has raised £45,000 to support the work of Katha, a charity focused to provide education to children of the most deprived communities of Delhi.
Surinder & Sunita Arora
Surinder Arora is the founder and chairman of Arora Group. He started the business in 1999 catering for British Airways airline crew with the launch of the first hotel Arora International Hotel, Heathrow. Over the years, the Arora Group has expanded significantly and today it is believed to make him worth £225 million. The property arm of the Arora Group is involved in commercial real estate management with an extensive portfolio of landmark office buildings across the UK. Surinder’s established Arora’s Den and the Arora Awards for Enterprise at Royal Holloway, University of London. He also started a philanthropic initiative in 2010, The Arora Charitable Foundation which so far has contributed over £1,500,000. The Foundation organises the Arora Ball each year to raise funds for the underprivileged, particularly in education and healthcare
Sunita Arora is one of the co-founders and an executive director of the Arora Group. She has been has been actively involved in the business since its inception in 1999 and also launched a group of award winning nurseries for younger children. Her interests include interior design for the business, noteworthy charitable works and support of the arts.
Frank & Sajida Khalid
Fukhera ‘Frank’ Khalid started his entrepreneurial career at the age of 16 as a cash-and-carry wholesaler in a small 6,000 sq feet unit in Stratford East London. This unit quickly became too small and so when the lease ran out Frank bit the bullet and bought an empty 25,000 sq ft unit in Barking in 1985. Frank’s ambitions continued to develop and in the 1990s he purchased another 25,000 sq feet depot in Mitcham in 1993, forming Elbrook which has grown significantly in recent years. A serial entrepreneur, Frank opened Chak89, a 200 seat conference and banqueting venue, in 2003 and in 2013, he opened a 105,000 sq ft. film studios in Hayes, Middlesex. In 2014 the group turnover topped £145m and it now employs 85 people across all 3 businesses.
Sajida ‘Sasha’ Khalid married Frank in 1989, and when their second child was diagnosed with autism – needing significant care and support for the rest of his life – this became one of the defining points in the couple’s lives. Frank and Sasha have been involved in many charity projects over the years, raising in excess of £250,000 for Autism Anglia, the National Autistic Society and Unicef, among others. The couple are also supporters of the British Asian Trust (BAT) and in 2015, Frank became a BAT patron.
Kishore and Manjula Lulla
Kishore Lulla is the chairman and CEO Eros International Group, the largest fully integrated film and entertainment company in India. He has been instrumental in spearheading the growth of Eros International Group since the 1980s, expanding their presence in the UK, USA, Europe, Middle East, Australia, Fiji and other international markets. Lulla has more than 30 years of experience in the media and film industry. While spearheading the strategic direction and growth of Eros International, in 1999, along with Lakshmi Mittal and Gokul Binani, he founded the B4U Network to provide Bollywood content online. Lulla is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and of the Young Presidents’ Organization. In 2007, he was honored at the Asian Business Awards and the Indian Film Academy Awards for his contribution in taking Indian cinema global. Kishore Lulla graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in arts from Mumbai University and attended the School of Business and Law at the Government & Law College, Mumbai.
Manjula Lulla is the Creative Director at Eros International Media Pvt Ltd and a Trustee of The Lulla Foundation which was set-up in 2011. The Lulla Foundation aims to provide learning and teaching support for targeted communities in India that are currently caught in cycles of poverty so that they can have real opportunities to change their personal futures and their communities. In 2014, Manjula produced Purani Jeans, a Bollywood coming-of-age drama directed by Tanushri Chattrji Bassu.
Vijay & Smita Patel
Dr Vijay and Smita Patel are one of the most successful pharmacist couples in the UK. Dr Patel, a graduate of DMU’s Leicester School of Pharmacy, and Mrs Patel – herself a pharmacy graduate with first class honours, opened their first pharmacy in Essex in 1975. The business took off and this in turn fuelled the growth of a chain of chemist shops. In 1984 the couple, together with Dr Patel’s brother, Bhikhu, founded Waymade Healthcare, a distribution company that supplied medicines for its own chain as well as hospitals, wholesalers and other pharmacies which had a turnover in excess of £300m at its peak. In 2003, the group launched a new division, Amdipharm, to acquire and promote branded products globally. Amdipharm grew exponentially, with a presence in over 100 countries at the time of its sale to private equity firm Cinven in 2013 for £367 million. In December 2014 Vijay and Bhikhu Patel decided to transfer the operation of a substantial part of their Waymade business, based on the Pipps Hill Industrial Estate, Basildon to the B&S Group, founded by Samit Hathi.
The Waymade Group’s founders, Vijay and Bhikhu Patel have a long history of charitable work including the creation of the Shanta Foundation Charitable Trust which is named after their mother. The projects that they support range from schools, including one in Eldoret, Kenya where they were born to more recently the foundation of the Waymade College of Arts and Education in India, to support the training of teachers of English. The Patel brothers have appeared in the UK’s Asian Rich List for a number of years, with the net worth of £500 million.
Smita Patel said she and her husband wanted to use their wealth to benefit others so in March 2016, they donated £1 million to De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) to help financially-disadvantaged students and pay for an extruder, a specialist machine capable of producing medicine at a very high rate. This was the biggest single donation by individuals in DMU’s history.