Our Chairman and Founder Vraj Pankhania was very proud to be featured on the 2023 Top 100 Influential People List.
The list serves as a platform to highlight and reward truly influential people who affect and impact society today, across the worlds of business, enterprise, science, sport, health and education.
The guiding principle is that people who are genuinely making the world a better place need to be encouraged, thanked and given every opportunity to get their message out.
Vraj was chosen by a set of prestigious judges – including Lord Rami Ranger CBE, an entrepreneur and social and political reformer, and actor John Rhys-Davies – for his actions over his 50-year career in which he has used his influence to build a property empire with a community purpose.
Virtually penniless when he arrived in Britain, he has been a pioneering role model, demonstrating how doing things the right way can lead to business success.
In 1975, Vraj used a small loan to start Westcombe Group, and over many decades grew the company to become one of the UK’s most successful specialist residential developers. Vraj is driven by providing beautiful homes to maintain Britain’s historic buildings and to meet the housing demands of tomorrow.
He is now using his influence again to lead the way with a social-justice focus involving regeneration projects and tackling homelessness.
Equally, as Chair of Westcombe Foundation, Vraj has given away millions to transform lives in the UK and emerging economies.
For over ten years it has helped those suffering from disability and eyesight problems in Kenya by donating wheelchairs and artificial limbs for those who have lost limbs in road accidents. It successfully funded the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital in Kenya, helping with over 250 cataract surgeries for people in impoverished communities.
The Foundation also helped to rebuild schools and shelter homes after the Nepal earthquake in 2015. With the Foundation’s generous donation of roughly £200,000, over 22 schools with 132 classrooms were assisted after the earthquake.
And now, tackling the issue of homelessness and supporting those who are housing insecure for the Foundation. Vraj has spearheaded the Foundation’s ongoing work with Acton Homeless Concern, a local charity providing basic needs, services and advice to homeless people. We’ve began working with the charity since last year, supporting through projects including regular food donations to their soup kitchen.
With the Westcombe Group going from strength to strength, and the Foundation entering its fifteenth year, we look forward to updating you all on the exciting new projects we have in the pipeline. It’s going to be a great year and we hope that you can all be part of it.