It’s a case of happy families in one enterprising household today as Curry King Charan Gill was presented with a lifetime achievement award at last week’s the Scottish Asian Business Awards while his daughter, Preet Sandhu, won the coveted Businesswoman of the Year category in recognition of her achievement in the growth of her residential letting and property management company Happy Lets.
The win caps a significant year of expansion for Happy Lets, which recently acquired Surehome Property, a former competitor for an undisclosed sum.
Commenting on her win, Ms Sandhu said: “I’m very happy to win this prestigious award, which recognises the tremendous progress our firm has made over the course of this year.
“I believe the success of our business is largely due to the amazing work ethic of our staff, who really are the backbone of any successful business. As ARLA licensed agents, we are committed to providing a high quality service to landlords and tenants alike and this belief forms the core of our company mission.
“We are pleased to be working with institutions, including banks, property agents and receivers to help them add value to portfolios that they may have inherited and we find that area of work rewarding.
Happy Lets continues to be growth orientated and we are very much focused on expanding further throughout 2012 whilst maintaining, if not exceeding, the professional service our clients have become accustomed to.”
Preet, together with husband Bobby, won the Scottish Young Entrepreneurs’ Award two years ago, and together they now manage a property portfolio worth over £90 million.
Previously operating under the Harlequin brand, the firm was founded six years ago when property entrepreneur Bobby, 29, married business management graduate Preet, daughter of Glasgow Curry King, Secret Millionaire Charan Gill MBE, and added the management of Charan’s various property investments to Bobby’s burgeoning empire.
The Happy Lets brand was launched two years ago when the firm expanded with the acquisition of The Letting Store in Hamilton, followed swiftly by the relocation of that office into a bigger and more prominent site. These two offices became the twin foundations upon which the enterprising couple plan to build their happy letting empire.
The winner of the Scottish Asian Business Awards’ Businesswoman of the Year was announced at a special ceremony last week at The Thistle Hotel, Glasgow.
The Scottish Asian Business Awards have been celebrated annually since 2006 – honouring the determination, hard work and personal achievements of the Scottish Asian businessmen and women at the forefront of their industries. Each year the competition has become more intense as the event itself has grown into a highly respected outlet where the best and brightest are honoured.
The aim of the Scottish Asian Business Awards is to highlight the talent and achievements of Scottish Asian entrepreneurs who are pioneers in their respective industries. They seek to capture the multicultural spirit of Scotland and, since their inception in 2006, have become highly regarded and instrumental in maintaining social and professional relationships between different cultures.
Reid, the Scottish star of ITV’s hit show, “Britain’s Got Talent”, has released a charity single today in a bid to raise money for Scotland’s disadvantaged children this Christmas with top Scottish children’s charity the Aberlour Child Care Trust.
And Edward gave a lucky group of Falkirk children in Aberlour’s care a sneak preview of his song when he dropped in on a singing visit. Pictured with Edward on his singing visit is Leon McGregor (left) and Dylan McKinnon from Falkirk.
The single is Edward’s memorable version of Leona Lewis’s ‘Run’, but is sung with his own twist, using nursery rhymes as the lyrics. It was his performance of the song that first captured the nation’s hearts when he appeared on TV screens earlier this year. And now by releasing the single, the singing sensation from Coatbridge hopes to raise funds for a cause close to his heart, Aberlour Children’s Charity.
Aberlour works with 6,000 children and families each year at more than 40 services across Scotland. Funds raised from the single, which is available to download on iTunes, will help to support vulnerable children and young people this Christmas.
The Aberlour Choir featuring Edward Reid “Twinkle Twinkle” EP will feature 3 songs including the nursery rhyme single and festive favourites, “Last Christmas” and “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” The EP will be available for iTunes download on Monday 28th November and proceeds will go to Aberlour.
Edward Reid, 36, is originally from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.
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Scottish model group ‘Perfectly Petite’ stepped in front of the camera this week to promote a healthier body image within the fashion industry.
The Dreghorn photography studio in Glasgow was a hive of activity as 9 petite models from across Scotland posed and pouted their way through the initiative’s latest glamorous fashion shoot. Campaigning for a more realistic body image in modelling, ‘Perfectly petite’ raises awareness of the challenges petite models face due to the arbitrary height standards the fashion world imposes.
Shot by well-known local fashion photographer Duncan Holmes, the photo-call saw the girls decked out in variety of creations by prominent Scottish designers Psychomoda, Velvet Elvis, C. Watson, Eleanor’s riot and Karen Reid. Speaking about the campaign, Karen Reid stressed the importance of promoting real women with real bodies in fashion; “Perfectly petite is a great idea, why shouldn’t we have normal girls from the high street modelling clothes for normal women. The campaign can make a real difference in showing people, young girls in particular, that they should be happy with the way that they are.”
‘Perfectly Petite’ was created by successful Scottish model Nicole Abott in October 2010. Experiencing first-hand the challenges faced by shorter girls in the industry, Nicole set up the campaign to dispel the often unrealistic and illusionary ‘norms’ of the catwalk which favours models that are 5’10 despite the average height of women in the UK being 5’4. “I aim to demonstrate that nobody should have to change their appearance, especially using drastically unhealthy measures in order to become a successful model.”
The models taking part in the campaign, including Nicole, know too well of the pressures and prejudices the fashion industry can impose. Having experienced problems securing work due to her height Nicole admits that her self-esteem suffered in the past; “I for one have found myself upset due to set backs regarding my height. I was told I would never make it as a fashion model. Many people in the industry think that glamour modelling is the only option for those under 5’ 7 but it doesn’t have to be.” ‘Perfectly petite’ seeks to rectify the bias of ‘heightism’ in the modelling world by showing that petite models can do just as good a job as their Amazonian counterparts.
As the campaign grew in support, the group branched into tackling other concerns within the industry, namely the problems associated with unhealthy body image and issues such as anorexia and bulimia which are perpetuated by what the group believes to be irresponsible and dangerous advertising within the media. Nicole, who studies nursing in conjunction with her modelling career, has worked closely with patients suffering from eating disorders and is calling for an end to the glorification of the ‘size zero’ image splashed across the covers of the weekly glossies. Campaigners believe that the unrealistic, airbrushed images portraying the ‘ideal’ of beauty can have harrowing effects on those who are exposed to this unattainable idea of perfection. “We need to stop promoting these unhealthy ideals, we have reached the stage now where women feel worthless if they don’t fit into the sample size. Everyone is beautiful in their own way; you don’t have to be 6 ft. and a size zero to be beautiful.”
‘Perfectly petite’ recognises the importance of publicising a healthy body image and has gained the support of Scottish MPs Pete Wishart and Jo Swinson for its work. Believing that the solution resides in education, ‘Perfectly petite’ have set their sights on ultimately helping the establishment of a national support network within schools that teaches children from a young age about the importance of having a positive body image. Realising that there is a real want and need for change within the fashion industry, the group hope to incite a revolution among the younger generation through their tireless campaigning for diversity in the fashion world. For more information on the ‘Perfectly petite’ campaign visit their website on www.perfectlypetite.wordpress.com
Susan Brownlie, the founder of Glasgow-based Intelligent Data Services, the UK’s leading data provider, has been named in the shortlist for the Entrepreneur of the Year title at The Scottish Business Awards.
Intelligent Data Services is a dynamic and expanding company which in recent years has become one of the UK’s leading data suppliers.
As a data owner, the company is able to maintain and update one of the largest B2B data files in the UK, achieved by implementing a multipronged approach cleaning its data, including using a variety of third party resources. This enables IDS to offer unrivalled accuracy guarantees
The Scottish Business Awards were created to celebrate those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses in Scotland and aim to recognise their efforts, vision and ambition to inspire further entrepreneurial activity within Scotland’s business community.
Susan said:- ‘I am obviously delighted to have been included on such an auspicious list as highlights the strong brand credentials and reputation that we’ve developed as a pioneer in data quality and customer services. However this nomination is also a reflection of the teamwork at Intelligent Data Services. It is the combination of hardwork, focus, determination and a strong customer focus which has, helped us succeed and will continue to do so.’
Josh Little John, Judging Panel Spokesman, said: ‘The quality of entries this year is very strong and therefore making the shortlist is an achievement in itself. The judges were impressed with the range of companies in Scotland making an impact on a UK scale particularly against such a hard economic backdrop.
‘’The entrepreneur of the year category particularly sums up the ethos of the event, as it embodies the people who are leading and growing dynamic business’s in this tough economic climate.’
Providing mailing, telephone and email data Intelligent Data Services is expected to achieve a £2 million turnover in 2011, priding itself on its data quality and customer focus.
The results of the Scottish Business Awards will be announced at an event in Glasgow in February, 2012.
by Anna Redman
Glasgow-based company, McKinlay Kidd, recently won The Guardian and Observer’s 2011 travel industry award for “Best Small Tour Operator.” Voted by readers of the The Guardian and Observer, they achieved an impressive 99.6% satisfaction rate, McKinlay Kidd triumphed against many larger, more established companies such as Wild Frontiers, Saddle Skedaddle, Audley Travel and Milestones Tours.
McKinlay Kidd is a company that specializes in organizing independent tailor-made Scottish and Irish holidays. The company was established in 2003 by Robert Kidd and Heather McKinlay and has continued to grow over the past eight years. With the downfall of the Scottish economy and a small staff of five, the firm could easily have suffered. Instead they have flourished.
Senior member of McKinlay Kidd staff, Julie Morris, who has been with the company for five years, had the good fortune of attending this year’s award ceremony. In possession of the most sought after ticket in town, or at least in her place of work, Julie was treated to The Guardian’s annual five star treatment.
This three-day event was held in the popular Spanish tourist destination, Tenerife. Awards ceremonies in previous years have been held in Bangkok, Wales, and in 2012 Flanders will be added to the list.
The “prestigious and glamorous” awards ceremony did not disappoint. The awards were black tie and hosted in a banana plantation. Julie said:- “We walked along a long path lined with bananas and torches. It was beautiful, but very long, and felt even longer in heels! As we were walking along there was suddenly an explosion of sound and a band appeared to lead us the rest of the way.” Journalist and Observer columnist, Mariella Frostrup, hosted the awards.
Julie greatly enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in this 25-year tradition and says she “came back feeling energized and positive.” The awards are “a reflection of people’s experience on holiday” and Julie is both pleased and proud to see that her employer is exceeding expectations. This was the first time that McKinlay Kidd has been involved in this awards ceremony and they are honoured to have won first time around. Find out more about the firm’s 2012 programme on their website.