The image of Indians as petty corner shop-owners is fast changing in multicultural Britain.
The strength of the ?brown pound? and the entrepreneurship of British Indians have seen them reach heights that the first generation Indians could only dream of.
Businesses owned by British Asians have added over one billion pounds to their overall value during 2003-04, as a recent estimate reveals.
The Top 200 Asian Rich List published by Eastern Eye, a leading British Asian weekly, shows a leap in overall wealth from 6.6 billion to 7.8 billion pounds.
?I believe we have now changed some of those old perceptions that all the Asian business brains in the country only run corner shops,? Amar Singh, editor of the weekly, said.
?Increasingly, British Asians are becoming more united through shared interests, passions, values and that certain something that has created so many success stories within our community,? he added.
The pharmaceutical sector leads the Top 200 Asian Rich List, with Mike Jatania and brothers, owners of the Lornamead Group, retaining pride of place at number one with an estimated wealth of 500 million pounds.
Vijay and Bhiku Patel, owners of Waymade, follow close behind with 425 million pounds.
The fashion industry is also one where Asians have done well. Tom Singh, the brain behind New Look, bags the number three spot on the list. Singh, 53, is now estimated to be worth 300 million pounds.
Prominent women in the list include Parween Warsi, with her S&A Foods worth 63 million pounds, Avneet Sahni of VIP Computer, valued at 46 million pounds, and Bobby Dhillon, who co-founded the Dhillon hotel chain, worth 40 million pounds.
For the first time, two prominent British Asian artistes have made it to the list: Gurinder Chadha of Bend it Like Beckham fame, valued at five million pounds, and Sanjeev Bhaskar, 37, better known for TV sitcoms Goodness Gracious Me and Kumars at No. 42, worth four million pounds.
Spinder Dhaliwal, who compiled the list, said: ?Asian entrepreneurs are showing a great degree of confidence and optimism, and this has been boosted by the younger generation, who are coming up more than ever.?
The Midlands has emerged as the centre of Asian entrepreneurship, best symbolised by the success of Gujaratis in Leicester.
Amar Singh said: ?The diversity of the Asian community across the Midlands is reflected in the many sectors these entrepreneurs are succeeding in.
?Cities such as Leicester and Birmingham in particular have been a hub of Asian business activity for well over three decades.?