For India born UK businessman Rami Ranger, it indeed was a dream come true, when British PM the Right Honorable David Cameron, MP, visited the facilities of his company Sun Mark Limited in Greenford, West London on a fine friday morning during July this year, to present the company with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for an unprecedented fifth year in a row. Mr. Cameron toured Sun Mark’s facilities before bestowing the award to Sun Mark on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. NRI Achievers reports in our cover story…
Dr. Raminder Singh Ranger, MBE, FRSA, is a successful UK based entrepreneur and social reformer. His business interests stem from his principal firm Sun Mark Ltd, an international marketing & distribution company, and span diverse fields from shipping to beverages and realty development. Sun Mark is the only company ever to have been awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise for five years running. Rami Ranger is no stranger to our readers, for we have penned a few epistles on his doings in past issues as well. But just a small recap would do no harm, nor eat up much space … Rami Ranger, who has built his niche empire in the UK from the ground up, connects Britain to 115 countries through trade.
His company exports UK FMCG brands across the world, sustaining thousands of British jobs with its activities. At last count, the business was turning-over more than GB£ 140m with profits of more than GB£ 10m and it continues to grow – turnover grew by at least 28 % each year between 2007 and 2012 and Sun Mark was ranked 32nd in Real Business’ Hot 100, 2013. The company is also in The Sunday Time’s Profit Track-100, as well as The Sunday Time’s Top Track 250 for the past three years in a row.
The self-made millionaire, who came to UK from India in the 1970s, is today worth over GB£ 140m according to the Asian Rich List 2014. Dr. Ranger started his first business, Sea Air & Land Forwarding, in 1987 with a capital of just GB£ 2. He then diversified into exporting major food brands like Cadbury, Nestlé and Unilever before launching his own ‘Sun Mark’ brand in 1995. Since then, there has really been no looking back for him, as he went from strength to strength, expanding his business interests into new areas, and growing his core business to reach pinnacles of success, through sheer hard work, business acumen, and right-guessing the buyers’ sentiments. All that, coupled with top-class service and high levels of reliability saw him through thick and thin to reach his current levels of achievement.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is an awards programme for British businesses and other organisations that excel at international trade, innovation, or sustainable development. They are the highest official UK awards for British businesses. Winners can use the Queen’s Award emblem in advertising, marketing and on their packaging for five years. One year ago, when Dr. Ranger had won the award for the fourth time running, the Prime Minister had promised, probably half jokingly, that he would come to present the prize himself were the 66-year-old British Sikh businessman to get the accolade on a fifth occasion. “Although the Prime Minister had to chair an emergency meeting to discuss the Malaysian plane disaster in the Ukraine, he still came and stayed for an hour,” Dr. Ranger commented afterwards to the local media. “The PM stayed for an hour, but did not have time for breakfast – he only drank a glass of water,” said Dr. Ranger with some mild regret. David Cameron, speaking at the event said: “Rami, yours is an extraordinary success story. It is great British success story. Export success is absolutely vital for our country, and you are doing an excellent job. We also recognise the major contributions British Asians like you are making to our country.” Cameron said he had travelled to India more than any other country, barring Brussels, and he was committed to building special relations with India. “It is a British dream. We want to see the ties grow more stronger.” India’s High Commissioner to the UK, Ranjan Mathai, said he was “immensely proud” of Ranger’s achievement and added that India-UK trade is likely to double by next year.
He was also all praise for British society, paying handsome tribute to the level playing field that its polity have created to facilitate such dreams as Sun Mark’s to come true. Rami Ranger said winning the award for the fifth time had not been easy for him. “It is a dream come true. This is a unique achievement as no other British company to date has won five consecutive Queen’s Awards and achieved this in competition with the very best in British business,” he averred. He also thanked the Prime Minister fervently for keeping his promise and making time in his incredibly busy diary to come and present the award personally, thereby boosting the very morale and self-esteem of all those present. “Normally people go to the Prime Minister for receiving an award, but for the Prime Minister of U.K. David Cameron to come to Sun Mark and present this award here … it was surreal,” Dr Rami Ranger said.
Hardyal Luther, President, India International Foundation, said: “Rami has brought pride and glory for Indians worldwide by his accomplishments. What he has done excels the very best, and I am sure he is not going to be resting on his laurels, but instead strive for more and more.” Bollywood actor Nana Patekar, leading NRI Labour MP and Chairman of the Britain’s Home Affairs committee Keith Vaz, and prominent Labour MP Steven Pounds were also among those present at the ceremony.