Press Release


Ninth Annual Sikh Awards took place in Nairobi, Honoring Global Sikh Excellence

Tuesday, 30th October 2018, Nairobi: President Uhuru Kenyatta was honored with the Special Recognition Award at the ninth annual Sikh Awards 2018, which took place on Saturday 27th October in Nairobi National Park on the Ivory Burning Site.

Mrs. Julie Gichuru, Kenyan media personality hosted the event. On behalf of the President of Kenya, Cristina Kenyatta Pratt said, “the 44th tribe consists of generations of Sikhs and should continue to play their part, Sikhs should feel Kenyan and should be proud to be Kenyan.” Deputy President of Kenya, William Samoei Ruto addressed the gathering stating, “Africa is the continent of opportunity and Kenya is the gateway to Africa, bringing together 26 countries and an economy worth $1.25 trillion. The Sikh community are an integral part of the progress of our country and is very proud of the tremendous contribution they have made.”

Navdeep Singh, founder of The Sikh Awards visited State House on Tuesday 30th October to present the award in person to the President. Accepting the award His Excellency said, “I would like to thank the Sikh Awards and the Sikh community for this great honour. We must continue to partner in education, the development of Kenya and in the development of peace throughout Africa. We appreciate the great legacy that you have had in our country.”

The Sikh Awards recognises the pivotal contributions made by the Sikh community across a variety of fields, from business, charity, education, entertainment, professional services, selfless service and sport, with winners selected across the globe from Asia, USA, Canada, Australia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. This year’s winners included:

  • Hindpal Singh Jabbal (Kenya) – The Sikh Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Jasdip Singh Jassi (USA) – Sikhs in Seva
  • Arvinder Singh Reel (Kenya) – Sikhs in Profession
  • Charanjit Singh Hayer (Kenya) – Business Man Award
  • Harjinder Kaur Talwar (India) – Business Women Award
  • Harcharan Singh Ranauta (India) – Entrepreneur Award
  • Sikh Womens Society – Sikhs in Charity
  • Harpreet Singh Sareen (USA) – Sikhs in Education
  • Satpal Prakash Sabherwal (India) – Sikhs in Entertainment
  • Amardeep Singh Gill (UK) – Sikhs in Media
  • Jaspreet Singh Chatthe (Kenya) – Sikhs in Sport
  • Aman Singh Gulati (India) – The Sikh People’s Choice Award

This prestigious event saw 500 guests in attendance from elite international dignitaries to public figures, community heroes, sports stars and celebrities. Esteemed guests at the event included Bhai Sahib Dr Mohinder Singh JI KSG OBE, Deputy Minister Hasson Noor Hassan, Joseph Boinnet, Hon. Esther M Passaris, Dr Charles Musyoki, Amina Abdi, Grace Msalame, Karen Karimi, Anjilee Gadhvi, Natasha Qubu and Brenda Kanaiza.

Another highlight of the event, hosted by the media organization The Sikh Group, was the launch of the 7th edition of The Sikh 100 Power List, profiling the world’s most prominent Sikhs in the global community.

The successful entrepreneur, Navdeep Singh who founded the Sikh Awards said: “The Sikh Awards is now in its 9th glorious year and taking the awards to my parents homeland was a real treat. Actually holding the ceremony in Nairobi National Park was a first for them and for all our guests. It really was unique event and one I will always remember. Our purpose with the awards is to recognize, honor and celebrate the enormous achievements of the Sikh community who continue to contribute immensely to the social, cultural, and economic fabric of societies globally, as well as making a difference to people’s lives through philanthropy. I would also like to congratulate all of this year’s winners. May they continue to be a beacon that shines out to future generations, who will continue to strive for excellence in their chosen professions”.


The Sikh Awards 2018 Winners are:

The Special Recognition Award

President Uhuru Kenyatat (KENYA)

Uhuru Kenyatta is the fourth and current President of Kenya. Born into a political and wealthy family on the 26 October 1961 he is the son of the famous freedom fighter Jomo Kenyatta and his fourth wife Mama Ngina Kenyatta, the first President of Kenya from 1964 – 1978. His family hails from the Kikuyu, a Bantu ethnic group. His given name “Uhuru” is from the Swahili term for “freedom”, and was given to him in anticipation of Kenya’s upcoming independence. Uhuru Kenyatta backed the presidential candidate, Kibaki, in the 2007 elections and was appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance when Kibaki’s government was formed. He later left KANU and formed a new party TNA which became a part of a multiparty alliance. He was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate and won the 2013 elections, becoming the fourth President of Kenya. In the notice dated July 22nd 2018, he acknowledged the Kenyan Asian community as Kenya’s 44th tribe this of course is a great statement and has warmed the hearts of Sikhs and other Asian faiths throughout East Africa.

Sikhs in Business

For the organisation or individual that can best demonstrate how it has made exceptional financial returns, shown strong growth, innovative strategies and clear market leadership in its sector. This category also incorporates Business Man, Business Women and Entrepreneur awards.

Harjinder Kaur Talwar  (INDIA) – Business Women

Harjinder Kaur founded Comvision in 1995, which provides IT training to the senior/junior management teams of all corporates, who are trying to get used to the era of IT revolution. The young and dynamic team of Comvision has trained Presidents, Vice-Presidents, MDs and CEOs of Giant Corporates and with equal ease handled the troubleshooting requirements of their IT teams. Realising that the government was the biggest buyer, especially in the province of Andhra Pradesh in India, Comvision set up one of its offices in the IT capital of India – Hyderabad. One of the solutions rolled out by Comvision was then the most challenging eGovernance implementation ‘TWINS’. This was a niche and first of its kind solution developed by Comvision in India, which was showcased to the then President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton, on his first visit to India.

Harcharan Singh Ranauta (INDIA) – Entrepreneur

Successful entrepreneur. R.W. Bro. Harcharan Singh Ranauta, OSM was born on 28th November 1961 in Nairobi, Kenya. He shifted to Chandigarh in 1975 and after graduation established himself in business and today is an industrialist of repute having business interest in India and abroad. From Real Estate Developer and Construction actively he also deals in mining, pharmaceuticals exports, aviation, education, automobiles and owns a world famous bicycle brand ‘Kilimanjaro’ a top seller in East Africa. In 2014 the Electoral College elected R.W. Bro. Harcharan Singh as the Grand Master for the ensuing term. He has since assumed office and is the reigning Grand Master of Freemasons in India. During his tenure he has lead many charitable projects in education, prison reforms, disaster relief in worldwide, rights of children of female convicts, restoring Masonic Buildings in India, forging international relations within Freemasonry by holding a world wide conference of Freemasons and Friends of India in New Delhi.

Charanjit Singh Hayer (KENYA) – Businessman

In 1977 in conjunction with his younger brothers, Charanjit Singh founded M/S Hayer Bishan Singh & Sons Ltd and today presides as Group Chairman of a multitude of successful and diversified companies in the engineering, construction, manufacturing, travel and tourism sectors throughout Kenya. The core civil engineering and construction business provides the platform for diversification into new sectors.  HBSS has established itself as the foremost civil engineering company in Kenya having completed many projects across Kenya, Uganda and recently Sudan. The Hayer Group of companies employs over 1000 people across its various business interests. He is a respected member of the Sikh community in Kenya and has contributed significantly to the prosperity, growth and social fabric of Kisumu in particular where he resides. He has held prominent positions as Chairman of various social and sports clubs such as Nyanza Hockey Association and Simba Club. Charanjit Singh exemplifies and lives his own mantra ‘service with humility’ in all spheres of life.

Sikhs in Charity

For an individual, organisation, or society, which can best demonstrate that it has the community at heart and has had a positive impact whilst improving the health and wellbeing of society.

Sikh Womens Society Kenya (KENYA)

The Sikh Women Society is a charitable organisation that was founded in 1976 in Nairobi by women of Kenya’s Sikh community in order to offer assistance to the less privileged members of the society and to the community at large. The organisation follows the teachings of the beloved Sikh Gurus as they engage in many social, religious and charitable activities that promote culture and religion amongst the children. Sikh Women’s Society has been working tirelessly and with the utmost dedication, loyalty and commitment in serving those members of the community, that often struggle to obtain the most basic needs of getting proper food, education, shelter and medical care. Every year the Sikh Women’s Society organises medical camps, Vaisakhi mela’s, dental camps, hamper pack donations, Simran programmes and assist needy children with their school fees.

Sikhs in Education

For any Sikh educational establishment, teacher or individual that is taking a strategic approach to recognising, educating and developing the talent and skills within the community.

Mr Harpreet Singh Sareen (USA)

Harpreet Singh is a New York based designer, educator, TEDx speaker and inventor who is currently director of the Synthetic Ecosystems Lab and Assistant Professor at the Art, Media and Technology School at Parsons School of Design. He has designed an artificial intelligence driven terrarium that was recently launched by Google. Harpreet Singh graduated from (MIT), Cambridge, USA, with a Masters degree. He has lived in India, Austria, Singapore, Japan and USA, he has worked for global brands like Microsoft, Google and MIT Media Lab. Harpreet Singh was named as MIT Technology Review Under 35 Innovator in 2013, awarded National Social Innovation Honour by the IT Minister of India and received a letter of appreciation by the Government of Punjab for his charitable work. He devoted a part of his work to developing software for the blind and dexterity impaired. He also designed software for under-resourced schools in Punjab.

Sikhs in Entertainment

This category recognises directors, presenters, comedians, instrumentalists and musical artists etc. respected role models who promote the Sikh identity within the entertainment industry.

Mr Satpal Singh Sabherwal (INDIA)

Satpal Singh Sabherwal, affectionately known as ‘Satya Sabherwal’ is a Sikh filmmaker who has produced more than 2400 films in his career of 40 years. He has produced 36 films for the world famous ‘discovery channel’ and 100’s for Asian and international TV channels. In the 1970’s he was responsible for filming and co-ordination of news during the 1971 India-Pakistan war, for Visnews Ltd. Satpal set up North India’s first 16mm TV laboratory with special facilities for film Production and India’s first news feature and programme agency. Throughout his career he has produced many films on Sikhism including a 60-minute documentary on Sri Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple), a documentary on the Nihang Singhs (Warrior Sikhs), various Gurudwara’s in Dubai, Thailand and Delhi. Having completed films dealing with the social issues in Punjab he will release a documentary on the increasing number of farmers committing suicide in Punjab later this year.

Sikhs in Media

For an individual or organisation that has made a substantial positive impact within the media industry, including newspapers, websites, radio and television stations and all other media platforms.

Mr Amardeep Singh Gill (UK)

Amardeep Singh is the Director and Co-Founder of specialist public relations and marketing agency, Media House. With a background in television and journalism, Amardeep was deputy editor for a respected men’s lifestyle magazine before moving into PR. He now runs one of the most respected media agencies in the UK, with links globally, specialising in the South Asian sector clients and working to raise their share of voice in the mainstream. Media House’s clients span the sectors of film and entertainment, music and live events, fashion and lifestyle, charity and award ceremonies. The agency works with some of the leading Bollywood studios and production houses such as Yash Raj Films, Reliance Entertainment, Fox Star, Sony Pictures, Salman Khan Films and Red Chillies Entertainment to name just a few. The go-to agency for South Asian sector clients looking to raise their profiles in the mainstream, Media House works with the biggest stars of Bollywood, Punjabi, regional Indian cinema and the Pakistani film industry.

Sikhs in Profession

Nominees in this category are employees whose contributions have made an exceptional difference on a local or global scale, in any field such as financial, medical, technology, government or legal.

Arvinder Singh Reel (KENYA)

The appointment of Managing Director to Arvinder Singh makes him the first Kenyan in this position. He comes back home to Toyota Kenya with extensive experience in the automotive industry spanning 20 years, having held various positions in Toyota’s international operations including Finance Director in Toyota Zambia Ltd, General Manager in charge of Distribution Management for Toyota Tsusho Africa (Pty) Ltd and Managing Director in Toyota Malawi Ltd.
Toyota Kenya Chairman, Dennis Awori expressed confidence in Arvinder’s vision, leadership qualities and experience will go a long way in taking the firm to the next phase of growth, competitiveness and market leadership. He is keen supporter of the local community and is known for contributing to many cultural events throughout Africa.

Sikhs in Seva

This category recognises an outstanding individual who has shown exceptional vision and contribution to society through means of Seva (Selfless Voluntary Service).

Mr Jasdip Singh Jassi (USA)

Jasdip Singh is the director of ‘Centre for Social Change’, providing assistant living facilities in the Washington DC area. He is the Chairman of the South Asian Affairs Commission and is on the Board of the Aging Commission. He is the first Sikh selected to stand beside the president and say a prayer on National Inauguration Day. Jasdip Singh, along with 30 other community leaders serves as an advisor to the Trump coalition. He is the founder of ‘Sikhs of America’, for the last four year’s, he has ensured Sikhs participate in the 4th July Parade. The Washington parade is the largest in USA and this enables the Sikh identity to be highlighted in mainstream media. Jasdip Singh serves meals, clothing, blankets and hygienic items to the local homeless people and his efforts have been recognised with several awards from the government and other communities.

Sikhs in Sport

For an individual that has made a significant contribution to the sports industry on a regional, national or global scale whilst promoting their Sikh Identity.

Mr Jaspreet Singh Chatthe (KENYA)

Jaspreet Singh is a well-known African rally driver. He is the winner of the Kenya National Rally Championship and the winner of the Most Improved Drivers Award in 2012 at the Kenya National Rally Championship. In 2012/2013 he won the Equator Motor Club Championship. In 2013 he won The Kenya National Rally Championship. 2014 he was the overall winner ARC category in the Tanzania rally. 2015 was an extremely successful year as he won the Sasol South Africa Rally, ARC Zambia Rally, ARC Rwanda Rally, ARC Uganda Rally, Safari Rally, KCB Voi Rally, FIA African Rally Championship. His winning streak continued and he won The Kenya National Rally Drivers Championship and is the Youngest Champion in Africa. He is currently the only Champion in Kenya and Africa to have won a number of championships in the same year.

The Sikh People’s Choice Award

Chosen by the community through the online voting process this category recognises an individual who has had a positive impact on people’s lives and has great admiration from others

Aman Singh Gulati (INDIA)

Aman Singh born on 11 October 2000 is from Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttarpradesh India. At such a young age he is an official 5 time World Record Holder. He is also a Global Award winner in Art. The Governor of Uttarpradesh honoured him with a medal for his services to arts and culture. He has researched and perfected the art of coal painting. Aman is known for coaching poor students in his local area. Aman made national media when he received his World Record for making the world biggest ‘puzzle portrait’ of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji on the occasion of their 351st birth anniversary celebrations.

The Sikh Lifetime Achievement Award

For a Sikh who has made a significant contribution to Sikhism on a global scale, an individual who has demonstrated a positive impact on society whilst progressing Sikhism to higher levels.

Sardar Hindpal Singh Jabbal (KENYA)

Hindpal Singh is the former chairman of Energy Regulatory Commission and son of Late Makhan Singh, freedom fighter and the ‘Forgotten Hero’ of Kenya’s pre-independence era. He has rendered a long and distinguished service to Kenya’s Power Sector spanning for more than 50 years. He joined KPLC (now, Kenya Power) in 1961 as a Junior Engineer, and took an early retirement in 1987, while serving as Corporate Planning Manager. Since leaving KPLC, he has been General Manager and CEO of a Utility in the West Indies; Technical Adviser to Kenya’s Ministry of Energy; and finally was Chairman of Energy Regulatory Commission of Kenya from 2007-11. Currently, he is involved in the development of various Renewable Energy projects, mainly in an advisory capacity. Over the past few years, he has made several presentations in international conferences like EAPIC and IRENA and has published several articles in the local press including Kenya Engineer and the Journal of Institution of Engineers of Kenya.


For further information please contact:

Canada – +1 437-995-4374                UK – +44 7932 907 666          India – +91 981-080-8835

Notes to Editors

Sikhism is a religion founded by Guru Nanak Dev Ji and has over 26 million followers worldwide. It is ranked as the world’s fifth largest religion.

Navdeep Singh, a founder and publisher is dedicated towards serving and connecting businesses around the world. He has been honoured, by the former Prime Minister of India, Sardar Manmohan Singh for his services to the Sikh community throughout the world. Navdeep Singh has created three established and trusted global brands ‘The Sikh Directory’, ‘The Sikh Awards’ and ‘The Sikh 100’. Navdeep is one of most networked individuals who are extremely active in the South Asian business community. In January 2015 he was selected to form a part of delegation that attended The Vibrant Gujarat Summit lead by Lord Livingston the Minister of State for Trade and Investment in the UK. Navdeep glorifies Sikhism and emphasises on embracing Sikh values and business ethics including excellence, elegance, loyalty and spirituality. On noticing Navdeep’s holistic approach towards Sikhism, other faiths have approached him for guidance on organising similar events for their community. Navdeep is being recognised and supported by major brands, governments and dignitaries from around the world.

About The Sikh Directory

The first edition of the Sikh Directory was published in March 2006 and has since been updated and published annually. The Sikh Directory is currently the world’s largest and most comprehensive directory of Sikh businesses. It is an established and trusted brand which stimulates community networking and connects buyers and sellers. It is regarded by many as a powerful voice and platform for the global Sikh community. It was long felt that an awards ceremony to celebrate and champion the talents of the Sikhs was long overdue. Realising this vision, Navdeep Singh, founder of The Sikh Directory, organised the world’s first Sikh Awards ceremony in 2010 to recognise the energy, drive and passion behind the Sikh community within all commercial, industrial and community sectors. The 2010 Sikh Awards inaugural ceremony took place on 10-10-10 at The Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. The Sikh Awards aims to promote the values and ethics of the Sikh community including excellence, equality, love, sharing, justice and spirituality. Navdeep believes that it is very important to encourage and inspire all generations by recognising special contributions and exceptional achievements. The Sikh Awards have continued to grow from strength to strength each year, honouring exceptional Sikh individuals and organisations for their achievements globally.

About The Sikh Awards

The awards will be presented to individuals or organisations who have surpassed exceptional standards in their chosen field of activity. They recognise those people who have an understanding of a community’s needs and can further show examples of selfless voluntary service (sewa).

Award categories:

Sikhs in Business

Sikhs in Charity

Sikhs in Education

Sikhs in Profession

Sikhs in Media

Sikhs in Seva

Sikhs in Sports

Sikhs in Entertainment

Sikh Peoples Choice Award

Sikh Lifetime Achievement Award

Special Recognition Award

About The Sikh 100

The Sikh 100 profiles some of the most influential contemporary individuals of Sikh heritage from around the world and crosses all sectors including business, education, profession, media, entertainment, sport and charity. With over 26 million Sikhs worldwide, the Sikh Dharam is the 5th largest religion in the world. One of the main aims of The Sikh 100 is to share real success stories which are a source of inspiration encouraging individuals to aim high, be passionate and excel in all aspects of their lives. This venture is inspiring all generations to draw strength from their Sikh heritage and empower them to excel in their professional, academic and spiritual paths. The Sikh 100 list is compiled by The Sikh Directory which examines contributions and impact that individuals have made from many hundreds of online applications received. Further consultations are made within industry and esteemed experts fully analysing all the information received before deciding to include any application into The Sikh 100. The 7th edition of The Sikh 100 will be released at the awards ceremony on 27th October 2017.