CLUB ASIA 963+972AM NAMED UKS BRIGHTEST NEW
LONDON, October 21 2005
Every year HSBC scours the UK looking for the most
innovative and dynamic new businesses and today
two sisters, who have brought a unique blend of
Asian cool to Londons airwaves,
have scooped the coveted HSBC Start-Up Star 2005
title and a £20,000 top prize.
"Club Asia is an outstanding example of what
can be achieved when a combination of creative flair,
determination and sound business planning is used
to plug a gap in the market with a successful new
business. We help over 100,000 new firms open their
doors for business every year and hope that by highlighting
Club Asias success we can inspire other budding
entrepreneurs to take the plunge and go it alone."
- Simon Wainwright, head of business banking, HSBC
Sumerah Ahmad and Humerah Khan, the founders of
radio station Club Asia, beat off stiff competition
from nine other finalists, and an original field
of hundreds of the UKs most talented new entrepreneurs,
to win this years HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards
in front of 300 top business men and women at Londons
Sumerah Ahmad (31) and Humerah Khan (34) -
both British born Asians impressed the judges
with their dynamism, enthusiasm and business acumen
to unanimously win the HSBC accolade as the UKs
biggest awards recognising the most promising fledgling
firms less than three years old. Club Asia is not
only the first Asian owned company to win the HSBC
award but also the companys directors are
the youngest ever to receive the title in its five
"Its an amazing feeling to be named
the UKs brightest new business, it still hasnt
sunk in. Our emotions are running high; they range
from shock to overwhelming happiness and pride.
Above all we want to thank those people who made
it happen, our listeners and clients, the Club Asia
team and our families and finally HSBC for recognising
what we do Thank you all so much" -
Sumerah Ahmad, Co-founder and creative Director
of Club Asia Radio.
"Anyone who has or is looking to start up
a new business knows that it is a path fraught with
challenges and we would salute anyone who decides
to take that step. It is because of the hardship
which makes this recognition of our efforts all
the more precious. The commemorative plate we were
awarded will be placed front and centre at our offices
and the prize money?...Honestly we havent
even had a chance to think about it. We cant
believe weve won and at the moment we are
still digesting what this accolade means for Club
Asia" - Humerah Ahmad, Co-founder and Director,
Club Asia 963+972AM.
The two sisters from Barking launched Club
Asia in September 2003 after finding them-selves
constantly switching between mainstream and Asian
radio channels, looking for entertainment that suited
their varied tastes. They knew they represented
a large sector of the community and decided to take
on the establishment by launching their own radio
station to fill the gap in the market.
They developed the brand of Club Asia, representing
a young, fresh, progressive Asian lifestyle, and
then set about winning a highly sought-after London
radio license. Their application was detailed, professional
and well researched enough to impress the Radio
Authority, which awarded them the license against
seven other operators including radio giants
such as Chrysalis.
Word soon spread among the young, urban Asian community
and, in its first year, Club Asia became the fastest
growing commercial radio station in London, targeting
an audience of 15 - 44 year olds. It has exceeded
turnover and listener figure projections and previously
won an award as Best Ethic Corporation.
The dynamic duo has overcome numerous challenges
to bring their idea to fruition and, in doing so,
has contributed significantly to the community.
The business is not only a commercial success, but
has a positive influence within the Asian youth
culture. For Sumerah and Humerah this is more than
enough to justify the hard work and commitment they
have given to this ground-breaking venture.
"The sheer breadth and quality of all the
finalists made judging extremely tough but Club
Asia really stood out and demonstrated the spirit
of Start-Up Stars they spotted an opportunity
and made it happen," - HSBCs Wainwright.
"We know that going it alone isnt easy
and hope that the success in winning the HSBC title
will help Club Asia go from strength to strength,
as well as inspiring others to turn their business
dreams into reality."
- Club Asia has a weekly audience reach of 333,000
listeners (Gfk, May 2005)
- Club Asia 963+972 AM is a London based station
and is the only analogue radio station in the
country specifically licensed to broadcast to
15-34 year old British Asians.
- All shows are presented in English as this is
the language that unites all the Asian communities
- Club Asia is a radio station for London's contemporary