LEICESTER BASED BUSINESSMAN JAFFER KAPASI OBE SPEAKS TO PUKAAR MAGAZINE’S KAVITA SHYAM ABOUT BEING APPOINTED AS AN AMBASSADOR FROM LEICESTER TO UGANDA AND THE POSITIVE CHANGES IN THE CITY.
Jaffer Kapasi was one of the thousands of Ugandan Asians expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin in 1972 and was left to restart his life in the UK, with just £55 in his pocket. Today, Mr Kapasi runs a prosperous financial consultancy LABA and is one of the Directors of the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce.
“I have known a wide variety of people from many backgrounds and cultures, due to my networking in the Chamber of Commerce and the Leicester Business Association”, explains Mr Kapasi, as he shares how important it was to create an atmosphere of trust over the years, since he set up The Leicestershire Asian Business Association (LABA) in 1986.
Speaking about his role as one of the Directors of the Leicestershire Chamber Of Commerce, he describes the need for a platform where the issues of business communities could be addressed, “This is the second largest chamber in the country with 4000 paid members, to deal with exports, training, IT and more. We work with the UK Trade & Investment, Department of Trade and Industry and the police authority to reduce internet crime or fraud and health & safety through the Chamber of Commerce.”
With a number of inspiring accolades to his name, the successful businessman was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the Queen in 1997, due to his contribution and services to business.
Mr Kapasi has gone the extra mile to make links with Uganda, to make a difference in the Agro business. He has recently been appointed as the ambassador for Leicester to Uganda. “I have been to Uganda in 1994 and 1996 to promote trade between England and Uganda. We would like to trade, but would like them to open the door and have confidence in us, so the assets are secured unlike earlier”, shared Mr Kapasi.
With hope to encourage inward investment and for more youngsters to stay in the city for work, he shares, “There is immense opportunity for progress, as there is a lot of talent, brains, potential, diversity and skill set in youngsters. They should stay in Leicester and help the city expand”.
With over forty decades in the UK, Mr Kapasi has seen the city changing and expanding. He shared, “Things have really changed, and we still have a long way to go. We have much faster train services to London now. The retail shopping arena is excellent. This city has a lot of potential.”