65-year-old Dame Asha Khemka, Principal and CEO of West Nottinghamshire College, was honoured for her efforts in the field of education and skills at the Asian Business Awards ceremony on Friday.
The event, which took place at the famous Edgbaston cricket ground in the city, also marked the launch of the 'Asian Rich List' for the Midlands to highlight the high net worth Asians in the region.
Born in Bihar's Sitamarhi district, Dame Khemka left school after passing her exams at the age of 13 and had close to no English language skills when she moved to the UK with her husband and kids at the age of 25.
She taught herself English by watching children's TV shows and talking to other young mothers. She went on to acquire a business degree from Cardiff University before becoming a lecturer and eventually taking over as principal and CEO of West Nottinghamshire College, one of the largest in the UK.
In 2013, she was awarded a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, one of Britain's highest civilian awards.
The mother-of-three was the first Indian-origin Dame since Maharani Lakshmi Devi Bai Sahiba of Dhar State in 1931.
This year's 'Asian Rich List' marked a significant hike in the fortunes of NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul's Caparo Holdings.
The 2017 evaluation also marks a new entry by Indian- origin steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta of Liberty House, with an estimated wealth of 250 million pounds.
"The 'Asian Rich List' Midlands once again proves to be one of the most powerful compilations of the region's most successful business leaders.This year's list shows exceptional growth from both familiar faces and new entries amongst the Asian community in the Midlands. With the impact these businesses have on our economy, we can see a promising future for our business leaders," said Shailesh Solanki, Editor of the 'Asian Rich List'.
Other winners at the event included Morningside Pharmaceuticals as Asian Business of the Year Award; Kailash Suri, Managing Director of Reel Cinemas, as Entrepreneur of the Year; and Nishti Ismail, founder of Nishti's Choice for Community Champion.
Kalpesh Solanki, Group Managing Editor of AMG, said: "The British Asian community is thriving and these awards have celebrated the innovative and forward thinking Asian businessmen and women in areas such as entrepreneurship, healthcare and manufacturing. It has been a great evening celebrating the success of our winners."
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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