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JUDGES-2017 /

Baroness Usha Prashar
David Sayer 
Member of The House of Lords Deputy Chairman - British Council

The Right Hon the Baroness Usha Prashar of Runnymede CBE, PC is an independent member of the House of Lords, where she has served on several Select Committees. Until recently she was the member of the European Union Select Committee and chaired the European Union Select Committee on Home Affairs.

Her career has spanned public, not for profit and private sectors. She has made significant contribution to public policy and public life in the UK.


Since 2013 she has been the Deputy Chairman, British Council. In January 2017 she was appointed non-executive director of Nationwide Building Society.


Her significant previous roles have included: Member, the Iraq Inquiry; Inaugural Chairman, the Judicial Appointments Commission; First Civil Service Commissioner; Chairman, the Parole Board;Chief Executive, National Council for Voluntary Organisations; Chief Executive, Runnymede Trust; Chairman, Royal Commonwealth Society;Chairman, the National Literacy Trust; Chancellor ,De Montfort University; member of the Arts Council and President, United Kingdom Council for International Students. She has also served as non- executive director of Channel 4 and ITV.


She is passionate about promoting intercultural relations, diversity and equality. She has keen interest in the arts,culture and international relations.

Vice Chairman-Financial Services

David led the Global Banking team at KPMG for eight years until October 2015. The team provides audit, tax and advisory services to a very wide range of clients from Global Banks to small savings and loan providers. 

David has over thirty years experience of working with Banks both as an advisor and as an executive across strategy, corporate lending, payments, risk management, cost management and process design. He has been involved in major mergers and restructuring and has worked with clients across Europe, The United States and Asia Pacific.

David joined KPMG in 2005 having been a partner for ten years in PWC Consulting and then IBM after the sale of the business in 2002.  He spent twelve years on a Senior Executive development programme with Lloyds Bank having qualified with PwC.  He was elected to the Board of KPMG in the UK in 2012 - 2017.  He now leads our relationships across the strategic trade corridors with China, Asia Pacific and Africa / Latam.

David led the teams working separately with the Post Office and the UK Government to design and implement the transformation of benefit payments to 15 million people creating the Post Office Card Account (POCA). He was involved in the  creation of  Sainsbury’s Bank and advised on product mix and choice of banking partner. He pulled together the teams responsible for the introduction of Chip & PIN technology and the UK Faster Payments programme. 

He worked with one of the UK Banks to set up a major offshore processing and collections centre in Bangalore.

With the Callcredit credit reference agency he developed the Overindebtedness initiative for the UK Banks to share data and identify the most overindebted customers.

David has built teams in KPMG Globally focusing on Payments, Mobile and the use of Social media. He recently led a research study looking at mobile payments and the future mobile banking landscape.

Ibukun Adebayo
Co-Head Emerging Markets 
International Markets Unit
London Stock Exchange

Ibukun is responsible for London Stock Exchange Group’s growth strategy in emerging markets with a key focus on India and Africa. Prior to this Ibukun ran the listings business for London Stock Exchange covering key markets in South Asia, Middle East and Africa. Managing relationships with companies, international advisors and regulators; in this capacity Ibukun was involved in over 200 London IPO’s by issuers from these regions. He was also the Exchange’s regional contact for companies listed on London’s Main Market Professional Securities Market, Specialist Fund Market and AIM. 


Educated in Bath, United Kingdom Ibukun holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and started his career as a foreign exchange trader for NatWest Markets in London in 1995. He went on to set up and run a successful business specialising in managing foreign exchange risk for African and Asian companies and managed a Forex fund investing in the dollar major currency pairs.


Immediately prior to joining the London Stock Exchange Ibukun worked in the financial communications division of United Business Media there he ran an operation dedicated to blue chip clients from across the globe in the capacity of financial communications adviser and was one time adviser to the Lakhsmi Mittal family and their companies.

Hugo van Vredenburch
Chairman of Interactive Investor
Former Partner and Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

Hugo is Chairman of Interactive Investor as well as Non-Executive Director of TMF Group.

Hugo is the former CEO of TMF Group.  A position he has held since September 2010.  Hugo began his career in 1989, working for Tokyo Pacific Holdings in Japan as an analyst and subsequently as General Manager and CIO. He joined Goldman Sachs & Co in 1992, holding a variety of roles over a 13-year period - including heading up the Equities Division in Japan, as COO of the Global Equities Division and taking co-leadership of the Pan-European Equities Franchise. Prior to leaving Goldman Sachs in 2005, he was a Partner and Managing Director. Hugo joined Equity Trust in 2005 as CEO, serving in this position until August 2009, prior to the merger of Equity Trust and TMF Group in 2010.

Kabir Bedi
International Actor

Kabir Bedi is the first international actor from India to come from Bollywood, work in Hollywood, and become a star in Europe. He was the epic hero in “Sandokan”, the TV series which broke viewership records across Europe. In the James Bond film “Octopussy” he played Roger Moore’s villainous antagonist. Over a billion people saw Kabir in “The Bold And The Beautiful” for over a year. He is popularly remembered for starring in smash Bollywood hits, like “Khoon Bhari Maang” with legendary diva Rekha, among his 60 other Bollywood films. And Kabir has been Knighted by the Republic of Italy, “Cavaliere”, their highest civilian honour.


Recently, Kabir starred in 5 films in 5 different languaues, an epic Bollywood film, “Mohenjodaro”, an international English film “Bazodee” with Machel Montano, THE BROKEN KEY Italian film by Louis Nero with Rutger Hauer, “Gautami Putra Satakarni” in Telugu, and “Anarkali” in Malayalam, for which he won the Best Villain Award at the SIIMA Awards (South Indian International Movie Awards).


INTERNATIONAL FILMS: Kabir had starred with Michael Caine in “Ashanti”, and Roddy McDowell in “Thief Of Baghdad”. Before his Bond film “Octopussy”, Kabir played the title role in “The Black Pirate” (“Il Corsaro Nero”), and starred in Donatello Award winner Marco Ponti’s “Return Ticket” (“Andata Ritorno”), both Italian films. He performed a pivotal role in “The Beast”, directed by Kevin Reynolds, among many other films, all listed on 


TELEVISION: Kabir's had had extensive roles on American television, including classic shows such as “Murder She Wrote”, “Magnum P.I”, “Highlander” and “Dynasty”, and many world famous mini-series. In Italy, he was recently paired one of Italy’s best comic actors, Lino Banfi, in the primetime RAI series “A Doctor In The Family” (“Un Medico in Famiglia”).


On INDIAN TV, Kabir anchored a prime-time cinematic talk show with the India’s leading directors, “Director’s Cut”. He was also the presenter of award winning prime-time shows “Guns and Glory” and “Vandemataram”, both channel drivers for India’s leading news channels.

THEATRE: In 2006, Kabir starred in M.M Kaye’s “Far Pavillions” in London’s West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre. He has also played the title role of “Othello”. Recently he played the Emperor Shah Jahan in “TAJ”, by Canada’s award-winning playwright John Murrell, which opened Toronto’s Luminato Theatre Festival, before going on a highly acclaimed 8-week tour of Canada. 


Kabir is a voting member of the “Oscars Academy” (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) for the past 30 years. In 2010, the Italian Government bestowed him with a Knighthood, “Cavaliere”, Italy’s highest civilian honor, for his lifetime achievements.  


Kabir’s international acting career has spanned 3 continents in 3 mediums, film, tv and theatre, for over 30 years. A truly international actor.

Rajan Singh
Founder & CEO Digi Media Global
Former Executive Vice President Star Network

Rajan Singh is the founder and CEO of Digi Media Global , a company specialising in international distribution of TV channels around the world.


He was the  executive Vice President of international business at the Star Network of channels for all territories outside the India. Singh has been in the media industry for over 25 years, bringing phenomenal success to the top Asian media organisations that he has been associated with. He served as CEO for Zee TV in the U.K. and Europe during its prime while developing the African operation for Zee.


During his stint at Sony Entertainment Television Asia as the executive Vice President for 13 years, he was the highest ranking executive in the south Asian pay-tv market. Under his leadership, He expanded the business to over 150 countries and developed the brand into a multimillion pound profit centre.


After joining Star Network  Singh once again "changed the game" in less than five years by making Star TV the first Asian network of channels to launch in South Africa, firmly securing Star's leadership status in the U.K., expanding the Star Network footprint into Europe and consolidating Star's position in the US and South East Asia.


Singh's astute knowledge and immense drive has taken his career to a meteoric rise with many success stories to his credit. His 'never say never' attitude and tireless passion for work has found him working with a diverse group of people right from his hometown of Leicester to politicians, Bollywood filmmakers, event agencies, content owners, multi platform conglomerates, CEO's of multinationals and charitable trusts.

Surinder Arora
Founder and Chairman
The Arora Group (Hotelier)

Surinder Arora is the Founder and Chairman of the Arora Group. Having arrived in the UK as a teenager from India, Surinder founded the business in 1999, running a luxurious four-star hotel at Heathrow for airline staff. From there, he built a business based on strong principles of enterprise, including the purchase of the Renaissance London Heathrow hotel in 2012, where he had worked as a waiter in the 1970s.

Today, the Arora Group is a successful private group of UK-focused companies, with specialist property, construction and hotel development and management divisions. The Group owns and manages a diverse portfolio of assets across Britain’s key business locations, with a particular presence in airport regions.

Surinder and his wife Sunita are also co-founders of the Arora Charitable Foundation, supporting social responsibility initiatives in the UK and overseas. The Foundation’s charitable balls have raised a combined total of over £1.8million to date.

Surinder has been honoured with success in a number of recent awards, including the “Corporate Responsibility” category at the London and South East Institute of Director Awards 2016; “CEO of the Year” at the UK Private Business Awards in 2016; and earlier this year, the Group was awarded ‘Business of the Year’ at the Asian Business Awards. 

Dr. Mukulika Banerjee
Director-South Asia Centre
London School of Economics and Political Science

Mukulika Banerjee is the Inaugural Director of the LSE South Asia Centre. She grew up in India and received a DPhil at the University of Oxford in 1994. She has taught at Oxford, UCL and joined LSE in 2009. She is the only Indian to have lived and done research in Pakistan leading to The Pathan Unarmed (2000). 


Her latest book Why India Votes (2014) explores ordinary people’s perceptions of democracy and has also published The Sari (2003) Muslim Portraits (2008) and is completing a monograph entitled Cultivating Democracy. She is a Patron of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017 and was recently voted among the top 100 influencers of UK-India relations. Mukulika also played a leading role in the feature film Life Goes On (2010) and is a regular commentator in the media.

Gurinder Chadha, OBE
Film Director

Gurinder Chadha is one of the U.K.’s most respected film makers with a stellar career directing award-winning films which are international box office successes.  The British Film Institute’s recent Filmography study On British Cinema history named Gurinder as the U.K.s most prolific female director working today.


Gurinder began her career as a BBC news reporter. She went on to direct award-winning documentaries for the BFI, BBC and Channel Four.


Her first feature, the landmark BHAJI ON THE BEACH, received a BAFTA Nomination for ‘Best British Film of 1994’ and the Evening Standard British Film Award for ‘Best Newcomer to British Cinema’.


WHAT’S COOKING?, the Opening Night Film on the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, was voted audience award winner in the New York FIlm Critics’ 2000 season and won the award for Best British Director at the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards.


BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM was the highest grossing British-financed, British-distributed film ever in the UK box office (at time of release) and topped box office charts internationally.  The film received a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), a BAFTA Nomination for Best British Film, a European Film Academy Nomination for Best Film, and a Writers Guild of America Nomination for Best Original Screenplay. 


BRIDE & PREJUDICE - a film which marries Jane Austen with Indian and Western musicals - was the first film ever to open at Number One in the UK and India on the same day. 


Gurinder has received several Honorary Doctorates from British Universities and was awarded an O.B.E. in the 2006 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to the British Film Industry. 


ANGUS, THONGS AND PERFECT SNOGGING - based on the international bestseller, was released worldwide by Paramount Pictures in 2008/2009. 


IT’S A WONDERFUL AFTERLIFE premiered at the Sundance Film Festival before releasing internationally in 2010. 


Gurinder’s BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM THE MUSICAL opened in the West End to critical acclaim in June 2015. It won The Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best Musical and was nominated for 5 Olivier Awards.


VICEROY'S HOUSE, - an epic drama on Indian Independence and Partition - opened at the Berlin Film Festival in 2017 to critical acclaim and good global Box office success as an Independent film. 


Gurinder’s TV company, Bend It TV, recently joined forces with International Sales and Distribution company, Fremantle Media to create diverse  Scripted and Non-scripted TV content.  Bend It TV currently has commissions for returning drama series with Sky Atlantic, BBC Drama and ITV. She recently presented a BBC documentary that was watched by over 5 million viewers in the UK and will be presenting a further series for TV


Gurinder is an active Patron of numerous charities including MAF (Medical Aid Films), She is involved as a Creative Mentor and Role Model for Creative Access, Directors UK INSPIRE, the BFI and the Sundance Directors’ Lab. and Patron of Women in Film UK.


Gurinder has delivered inspirational speeches internationally to encourage young people, women and underrepresented communities to tell their own stories and histories. 

Dr. Amin Jaffer
Senior Curator of Al Thani Collection
Former Curator at The Victoria and Albert Museum
Former International Director of Asian Art at Christie's
Dr Amin Jaffer is Senior Curator of The Al Thani Collection, an encyclopaedic holding of works of art that spans from the ancient world to the present-day.  For thirteen years a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum and for ten years International Director of Asian Art at Christie’s, Jaffer authored Furniture from British India and Ceylon (V&A, 2001), Luxury Goods from India (V&A, 2002) and Made for Maharajas: a design diary of Princely India (2006).   Jaffer was co-curator of the V&A's blockbuster 2004 exhibition Encounters: the meeting of Asia and Europe, 1500-1800, which explored the artistic and cultural encounter between Europe and Asia following the discovery of a sea route to India by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and Maharaja: the Splendour of India’s Royal Courts, which opened at the V&A in 2009.  He has edited Beyond Extravagance: A Royal Collection of Gems and Jewels (2013), co-curated the exhibition From the Great Mughals to the Maharajas: Jewels from The Al Thani Collection at the Grand Palais, Paris (2017) and curated the exhibition Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajas: The Al Thani Collection at the Doge’s Palace, Venice (2017). Jaffer is currently working on exhibitions from The Al Thani Collection at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.
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