Northern Asian Powerlist 2020 winners – Simon Arora

Simon Arora, chief executive officer of B&M Group, won the Business Leader category of the inaugural Northern Asian Powerlist 2020.

The full list of winners, along with all those shortlisted, was announced on Friday 2 October.

Outlining why they had chosen Arora, the judges’ report said: “Simon embodies everything we believe makes a business leader – he is someone who is the ultimate role model.

“Simon has transformed B&M from a struggling loss-making business to one of the leading global retailers, employing thousands of people.

“Simon demonstrates an inspirational success story creating wealth generation and employment.

“He is a global thinker, and encourages other Asian businesses to reach out to the wider businesses community, recognising the potential of having an integrated and diverse business.

“If we are to have a progressive economy post Brexit, we need to foster this kind of thinking, that Asian business leaders can aspire to be the chief executive of a major listed business, and that it is possible.

“Simon is excellent by all standards and inspirational. He really was the standout candidate, an outstanding business leader with a powerful reputation who will inspire others to succeed.”

Arora responded: “B&M is proud of its North West roots and our strong record of job creation for tens of thousands of colleagues we now employ across the North.

“I applaud this initiative that seeks to encourage the important contribution that the Asian community is making to the economy and life in the region more broadly.”


Shortlisted for the Business Leader category were:

North East – Ammar Mirza, innovation & business growth expert & angel investor; Imran Khaliq, group director, Gainford Group; Meenu Malhotra, founder and chairman, Malhotra Group PLC.

North West – Bilal Hassan Ghafoor, managing director, Manchester Super Stores; Iqbal Ahmed, director and chief executive officer, The Seamark Plc; Khalid Saifullah, managing director, Star Tissue UK.

Yorkshire & the Humber – Arnie Singh, managing director and owner, City Taxis; Harpreet and Pam Banwait, managing directors, Strong Life Care Limited; Munir Mamujee, managing director, m2R education; Zeb Pervaiz, managing director, SKA Developments.