Mr. Bajloor Rashid MBE

Founder and first UKBCCI President Former BCA President @ BCA1960

As the former President of the Bangladesh
Caterers Association, and as a co-founder of
the Annual BCA Awards Ceremony, it is a great
honour to be contributing to the programme as
we celebrate BCA’s Diamond Jubilee this evening.
Since the birth of BCA in 1960, we have achieved
an extraordinary amount, and on behalf of the
Curry Industry, I would like to extend my deepest
congratulations! Under normal circumstances,
we would have celebrated its 60thanniversary
last year in 2020, however, due to the pandemic,
our celebrations have been delayed. I would like
to take this opportunity to knowledge those who
have passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have lost many of our loved ones and it has
been a testing time for us all. Nevertheless, it has
proven our strength. Everything changed in the
blink of an eye, but we kept going, we adapted
and we survived. Changing the way, we run our
businesses has not been easy, but the curry
industry has been proactive in stepping up and
feeding the nation whilst abiding by the regulations
that have kept us safe. Throughout this pandemic
and beyond, the curry industry continues to
keep the nation fed, and I could not be prouder
to be part of such an inspirational community.
Over the years, BCA has grown from strength to
strength. Through the membership contributions,
funding, dedication and commitment from
everyone involved, BCA has thrived and insha’Allah
will continue to do so for many years to come. We
have grown from 300 restaurants in 1960 to over
12,000 restaurants today and the BCA has played
an integral role in recognising and rewarding
those who have made the industry what it is today.
The British Curry Industry, amongst many other
sectors, continues to face a serious staffing crisis
for over two decades. BCA has worked tirelessly
to fulfil this shortage of skilled workers for
almost 30 years. Despite successfully lobbying
the government, they have not taken enough
action and have not addressed this shortage
accordingly. The shortage has been exacerbated
since the pandemic and the country has come
to a standstill. It is important for us to continue
campaigning for this important cause and for
the government to recognise the tremendous
economic contribution of this £5 billion industry.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge
the stars of the curry industry, the chefs. It is
undeniable that these fantastic chefs are the VIPs
of our institutions and without them, no matter
how much money is spent or how extravagant the
decor is, the restaurant cannot thrive. Our brilliant
and talented chefs need more recognition and
exposure. I believethey are the biggest celebrities
to inspire more qualified chefs coming through and
media exposure and glamour is urgently needed
for the curry industry to sustain and to continue
the legacy of our forefathers. BCA is recognising
the chefs in our community, and I believe this is
a vital step towards not only giving them the
recognition they deserve, but providing motivation
for them to continue their amazing work.
I sincerely hope that everyone has a wonderful
time this evening, and I thank the BCA for the
opportunity to share my thoughts with you all.
Lastly, I would like to extend my very best wishes
to all the nominees tonight. Good luck to you all!