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On June 17 2015, the Top 100 Asian Stars in UK Tech list, in association with KPMG, NewAsianPost and Wayra, was announced by Diversity UK at a networking event held in London. The list focused on those at Executive Levels within established companies and Founders in startups, with the shortlist process being carried out by a panel of seven judges from different sectors in the tech world.

The keynote speech was given by Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries with an address by H E Ranjan Mathai, High Commissioner of India to the UK. Shortlisted nominees and key figures in the UK Tech industry also attended including; Diversity UK Founder & CEO Lopa Patel MBE; Jonathan Roomer of the KPMG High Growth Technology Group; Dinesh Dhamija, Founder of Ebookers and Shivvy Jervis, Tech Editor at Huffington Post & a content creator for Wayra.

The list launch coincided with Wayra’s StartUp DNA research which explores the UK StartUp scene in detail. Wayra’s research shows that the UK Tech industry is more ethnically diverse than Silicon Valley and has greater female representation. The UK start-up ecosystem is also four times more likely to have individuals from ethnically diverse communities in C-suite positions than FTSE 100 businesses, 21% versus 5.1% respectively, a significant achievement given that only 12.7% of the UK population is from an ethnic minority community.

List curator Lopa Patel MBE, said “When I started compiling the list it quickly become apparent that a lot of South Asians are working in the tech industry, and increasingly in startup sectors, such as cleantech, fintech, healthtech, edtech and social enterprises. The range of different business models and the markets that they serve is staggering. It directly challenges the widely held notion that Asians run Britain’s corner shops, petrol stations and restaurants. In the Tech Sector, Asians are well represented in all markets and at all levels”.

With 21% female representation in the list, Asian women are also well represented in the UK Tech Industry, with many established in the investor, accelerator and venture capital space. However, Wayra’s research showed that men have far greater access to finance than women. Men are nine times more likely to get VC finance and 59% more likely to secure angel investment than women, so bringing more ‘visible’ women into the funding space is crucial for greater diversity in the future. Three out of the Top 5 Investors on the list were women with Sonali De Rycker, Bindi Karia and Sitar Teli taking their place alongside Suranga Chandratillake and Samir Desai. The full brochure can be found here.

The Top 100 Asian Stars in UK Tech list also recognised the original tech entrepreneurs who are still involved in the sector including Ajaz Ahmed, Dinesh Dhamija and Dame Zarine Kharas. The list also acknowledged the impact that Digital Influencers, like former Dragon’s Den star James Caan (Chairman of StartUp Loans) have had on the tech sector.
Wayra’s research found that, ‘In overwhelming numbers, respondents were clear that diversity helps them [startups] in a number of ways in relation to overcoming challenges, competing in markets and in innovation’. Wayra’s research showed that 82.5% of individuals agree that diversity helps teams bring new thinking and that 97.1% of individuals are open to working in diverse teams. In the words of Lopa Patel “It is only by showcasing the Asians already working in the sector that we can start the dialogue about how to achieve greater diversity in the sector.”

 

About Diversity UK
Diversity UK is a think tank to research, advocate and promote new ideas for improving diversity and inclusion in Britain. Diversity UK delivers its objectives by undertaking research, facilitating debates, hosting roundtable meetings, producing whitepapers and publishing a monthly newsletter focusing on contemporary equality issues.
Diversity UK is a company (No: 8158970) & a registered charity (No: 1155189) in England & Wales
For further information visit www.diversityuk.org

About NewAsianPost.com
NewAsianPost.com is Lopa Patel’s latest venture in online publishing and is a news, business and entertainment website for the South Asian diaspora. With an ambition to usher in a new era of high quality citizen journalism, NewAsianPost.com focuses on the ‘untold stories and unheard voices’ of the community.
www.newasianpost.com

About Lopa Patel MBE
Lopa Patel is a digital entrepreneur with a lifelong love for science and technology, and a widely recognised evangelist for STEM, innovation and bridging the skills gap in business. She is the first Asian women to be awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. In 2009 she was presented with an MBE for services to the Creative Industries.
Lopa also founded the equality and diversity think tank, Diversity UK, an organisation of which she currently sits as CEO. She is also a non-Executive Director of EMBG (Ethnic Minority Business Group) and a Trustee of educational charity Raha International. She is also a Technology Ambassador for STEMNET, helping to encourage girls to take up science careers, a sector in which just 13% of the workforce are women (‘Women in scientific careers’ Parliamentary Report, 2014).
www.lopapatel.com

About KPMG’s High Growth Technology Group
KPMG’s High Growth Technology Group is based in Shoreditch, London. The group is focused on helping early stage and high growth technology companies succeed through providing advice and assurance as well as contacts in the ecosystem for UK technology startups. The team’s remit includes advising companies on: successfully scaling their business, understanding what tax incentives might be available, corporate structuring and expanding internationally, accessing equity and M&A transactions. Furthermore, KPMG’s High Growth Technology Group hosts a range of industry and networking events for the startup community in London and supports a number of startup accelerator programmes as coaches and/ or mentors.
www.kpmgtechgrowth.co.uk

About KPMG
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
kpmg.co.uk

About Wayra
Wayra is a start-up accelerator owned by Telefónica, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. Wayra first launched in Latin America and Spain in 2011 and there are now 14 Wayra academies in 12 countries in Europe and Latin America. Companies accepted into the Wayra programme receive funding of up to $60,000 plus office space, mentoring and access to a wider investor network. In 2015, Wayra UK welcomed 22 startups into its newly refurbished academy, half of which are being accelerated by Wayra UnLtd, the UK’s first accelerator facility for digital technology social ventures.
wayra.co/uk

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