CEO Stories

Nasir Awan | How faith, family and determination helped me survive in business

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Episode notes

When Nasir Awan came to England in the 1960s, he could speak virtually no English.

Today, Nasir is one of the West Midlands’ most successful business figures – and, on 17 November, 2023, he will become president of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce.

In the final episode of CEO Stories season two, the boss of international wholesale firm Awan Marketing talks Henrietta Brealey through an eventful life and career – from humble beginnings in Pakistan to a career in business and charity that makes phenomenal reading.

Nasir shares some of the highs and lows experienced along the way – including a tumultuous time in the mid-2000s when he came close to losing everything.

It was a test of faith at “a time where I was emotionally at my very lowest.”

However, that faith and determination drove Nasir on to successfully rebuild his business which evolved into one of the UK’s largest wholesale firms.  

We also hear about his charitable work – including an impactful role as chair of Islamic Relief – and his plans as president of the Chamber when he succeeds Deb Leary this month.

CEO Stories will return for a third season in early 2024.

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