The managing director of a Northampton-based family-run industry leader in British woodworking has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.
Amarjit Binji, who runs AJB Group Limited, is among six finalists in the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ category of the Midlands Business Awards (MBAs). Now in its 16th year, the MBAs recognise and reward achievers who demonstrate remarkable outputs and contribution in line with category criteria.
AJB Group is a manufacturer of world-class joinery products. Its client list includes The Shard, BBC TV Centre, Centre Point and Battersea Power Station, as well as famous celebrities.
Father-of-two Amarjit started out as a carpenter and joiner. Frustrated with the lack of innovation and modern technique within his specialist field, he decided to set up his own company in 1999 which continues to prosper. AJB Group currently employs around 40 staff, including his brother Mandeep, sister Kully and best friend of over 35 years, Hitesh, who work as Operations Director, HR Director and Project Manager, respectively.
AJB Group uses timber from trees and chooses to buy only from sustainable sources, those which are committed to tree planting. In addition, the company has installed a bio-mass boiler which means it uses no gas and 100% of its waste is recycled to heat the factory which mean zero waste to landfill.
AJB Group began in a 13,500 square feet factory in Leicester’s Oadby Industrial Estate. In 2015, the business re-located to a 40,000 square feet state-of-the-art factory in Corby, Northamptonshire. Speaking about the award shortlisting, Amarjit said: “It is an incredible honour to be shortlisted for this award – especially in such a hotly contested category full of magnificent entrepreneurs.
“AJB Group as a collective we continue to work tirelessly to save trees, help contribute to reducing the overall carbon footprint, avoid waste going to landfill and still manage to provide high quality fine wood products for our clients. We are enormously proud of what we do and deliver and being shortlisted in this category has already inspired me even more, win or lose.”
Helen Hewitt, Chief Executive of the British Woodworking Federation, said: “It gives me enormous pleasure to congratulate Amarjit on being named as a finalist in the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ category of the Midlands Business Awards. As a proud ambassador of the woodworking and manufacturing industry, Amarjit’s passion and drive deserve applause and is contagious, so this is no surprise. Well done, Amarjit and good luck.”
Tom Pursglove, Conservative Member of Parliament for Corby and East Northamptonshire, said: “I would like to pass on my congratulations to Amarjit for being announced as a finalist in the 'Entrepreneur of the Year' category as part of the Midlands Business Awards.
“Individuals like Amarjit are integral to our local and national economic success and is a role model to aspiring business leaders. I wish him the very best of luck for the final!"
Amarjit paid a glowing tribute to his late grandmother, who he said had consistently reminded him of the foundations of the Sikh faith and core human values which are so common across all major religions.
Among her many reminders, he said, were, “be humble and give back to those most in need.” Another, “treat others how you wish to be treated and count all humans as equal”.
Creator of the MBAs, Harjinder Singh Sandher, said: “This year has seen a record number of entrants and we’ve been absolutely blown away by the strength of submissions.
“We are really looking forward to celebrating, in line with Government advice and guidance at the time on Covid, collective success and deserved triumph and putting a bright spotlight on the incredible talent and wealth creators that exist within our fabulous region, the Midlands.” Winners of the Midlands Business Awards will be announced at a glittering black-tie ceremony at a venue in Leicester on 4 March 2022.