BRADFORD: An entrepreneur who went from a corner shop to cash and carry king has been has been awarded with an honorary doctorate. Amjad Pervez, who owns one of the UK’s largest cash and carry/food retailer chains, the Seafresh/Adams Group, has received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University of Bradford.
The university presented the accolade for “his valuable and continuous support for the City of Bradford, to the University and for internationally championing a culture of enterprise”. The entrepreneur credits the city’s “entrepreneurialism” for his success, having moved from a small village in Punjab to a Lumb Lane at the age of 11.
Arriving with his mother, Hazran, and father, Mirza, now 98, an infantryman in the Britain Army, in 1970, he joined Wapping Junior School and later Frizinghall Middle School and Carlton Bolling. At the time, he did not speak a word of English but he recalls the warm welcome his family received in the city.
Looking back on his youth, Amjad recalls: “When I first came to Bradford I was fascinated, imagine somebody coming from a village environment in Punjab and you come to an urban bustle. In the 60s, Bradford was the epicentre. It was one of the most thriving cities that I’d known. It was very exciting. “It was a welcoming environment which allowed us to grow and become stakeholders in society. Bradford has a long history of welcoming immigrants and I think that is one of its strengths.”
Mr Pervez completed his A Levels at college and graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a degree in business and marketing in 1983.
He found work with Yorkshire Building Society but soon joined the family business, a humble corner shop, with dreams of becoming his own boss.
The father-of-six, who also has 10 grandchildren, said: “Invest in good, honest friends because they are difficult to find. In your chosen sphere, find someone who is much more experienced to guide you. Why? Because such people will help and support you when you make mistakes.