Park Garage Group director Balraj Tandon has been made MBE in the New Year’s Honours in recognition of his services to business and the south London community.
The 59-year-old emigrated to the UK as a refugee from Uganda in 1975 with his family and has built up the family businesses to the extent it is now ranked seventh in the Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indies with 49 sites.
Balraj said his parents would have been “absolutely overjoyed” at the news, particularly given the award “came from the Queen”, adding: “We are royalists and we love her so much.”
He began working at his local petrol station with his father and from this single petrol station built Park Garage Group which has an annual turnover of £200m.
The company offers vocational training schemes for all staff and provides assistance in English language lessons. It also offers paid apprenticeship schemes and regularly fundraises for charities.
He is a trustee of the Friends of Baale Mane, which was founded in 2001 to combat child labour for girls in Yeshwanthpur in India.
He is also lead trustee of the Hindu Society Centre in Wandsworth, which promotes the Hindu religion and looks after south London’s Hindu community.