London: Leading NRI industrialist and educationist, Lord Swraj Paul was presented with the 'International Indian of the Decade' award for his outstanding achievements in the fields of industry, education and philanthropy.
According to the citation, the UK-based steel and engineering multinational company Caparo founded by Lord Paul now employs some 10,000 people worldwide principally in the UK, USA and India.
Lord Paul, who was made a Life Peer, that is a member of the House of Lords in 1996, donated 1 million pounds to prevent the London Zoo from closure in 1994, the citation said.
"In 2008 he became the first Indian-born Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords and was appointed to the Privy Council in 2009."
"He was a member of the London Development Agency from 2000-2008 and chaired the LDA Olympics Delivery Committee between 2005 and 2008, which was responsible for delivering the land and infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympic Games on time and on budget."
"He was appointed Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton in 1999 and Chancellor of the University of Westminster in 2006. Previously he was Pro-Chancellor of Thames University from 1992-97 and its Chancellor in 1998."
Lord Paul was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the government of India in 1983 and granted the Freedom of the City of London in 1998.
He has been awarded 15 honorary degrees by universities in the UK, India, USA and Switzerland including the Corporate Leadership Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the citation said.
Receiving the award, Lord Paul said "at the age of 82, I really want to dedicate this award to a wonderful person, my wife Aruna. Without wife's support you are nowhere".
In his brief speech, Virender Paul said "it was a very humbling experience for me and it is a great honour to present the award to Lord Paul who is a very important pillar of the Indian community. We are very proud of your achievements and your success and wish you very best."
S P Sharma, Chairman of India Link International described Lord Swraj Paul as the doyen of Indian Diaspora.
He said "the aims and objectives of the magazine were laudable and are equally applicable to today's environment. It is now read and quoted in the corridors of power in India as well as in Britain."
Rami Ranger, Member of the British Empire who won the Queen's Award for Enterprise for an unprecedented five consecutive years in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, was presented with the 'Indian Businessman of the Decade' award.
Receiving the award, Ranger said "This is one of greatest moments of my life. We are indebted to Lord Paul for setting the bench mark for us. Thank you for all that you have done for us."
M N Nandakumara, Executive Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, UK received the award for promoting art and culture.
He taught weekly Sanskrit classes at Cambridge University for 3 years and regularly lectures on Indian Art and Culture and Philosophy at various schools including Eton College.
Other recipients of the Awards were A P S Chawla, founder Chairman of Roko Cancer (Award for Indian Charity), Mrs Pushpinder Chowdury, Managing Director of Tongues on Fire which organises the Festival of Indian Cinema in London (for Promoting Social issues), The Loomba Foundation (Award for India Charity) and Mrs Reena Ranger Ahuja,award for Empowerment of Women. Rajan Sehgal, founder of the Skylord Travel Agency was given the International Travel firm of the decade award but he, in turn, presented the award to Krishan Ralleigh,founder of Indian Link International saying he deserved it more.