Leading Midlands business figure handed university role at BCU

A leading Midlands business figure behind one of the UK’s biggest wholesale businesses has been handed a top university role.

Nasir Awan, Chief Executive of Awan Marketing, has been named as a Visiting Professor at Birmingham City University recognising his longstanding experience and expertise in industry.

Based in the historic industrial Birmingham area of Hockley, Awan Marketing was founded in 1976- building on from a small retail outlet started by Awan’s late father in 1962. After joining his father in the business in 1978, Nasir set up a consumer electronics operation with his late brother, also named Nazir, which has gone on to become a mainstay of the second city ever since.

The business has grown over four decades – today serving as a key distributor for household brands, and imported from offices in China. Established suppliers from Vietnam, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Korea, India ,Pakistan, Europe and South America, dealing in stationery, Toiletries, hardware, DIY, Kitchen Products,& electronic and domestic appliances, also sell their goods through the company.

Speaking about his appointment to the role, Nasir Awan said: “I am honoured to accept this prestigious position at an institution whose mission is ‘transforming lives’.

“I have great admiration for Birmingham City University, which has become a standard bearer for the region not only locally but nationally and internationally.

“BCU resonates with my philosophy that the opportunity to achieve success should be given to all, and students and the staff there reflect the demographics of the city in a very positive way. I was thrilled to have received the offer of the position and look forward to joining a dynamic team in sharing my practical knowledge and experience with Birmingham City Business School.”

Nasir Awan currently holds the role of junior vice-president of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, and is a former Asian Business Chamber of Commerce president and the first Honorary Chairman. He also sits as Trustee on numerous charity boards, as well as being the Chair of Inspire Education Trust for the last 20 years.

Awan Marketing is now one of the largest wholesalers in the UK. The company is run by the third generation of the family, operating from a 45,000 sq ft purpose built distribution centre.

It carries over 30,000 lines, servicing a customer base of over 14,000 throughout the UK andin addition to exporting to Europe, Africa and Asia.

Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, said: “We are delighted that Nasir will be joining our University, bringing with him a wealth of experience and business acumen that has served our city for decades.

“Nasir is not just a fantastic business person but, a pillar of our communities, a person who stands up and is counted for the forwarding of our shared endeavour for our ambition. A great role model and ambassador for all of us.”

The appointment is the latest in a string of accolades for Nasir Awan, following his receipt of an MBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours for services to business and international trade.

In the same year he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration, and in 2017 he was also appointed as Deputy Lieutenant by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, where he is the Business Lead for the Lieutenancy.