Jamal Tahlil and Edgar Chibaka, who launched Yorkshire-based First Response Group in 2007, carried off the top prize at this year’s Black British Business Awards (BBBAwards).
Now in its eighth year, The BBBAwards celebrate the exceptional performance and outstanding achievements of black professionals and business owners in the UK, and empowers organisations with the necessary tools to attract, retain and progress their internal Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic talent.
This latest honour comes three months after FRG was crowned as Recognised Service Provider Champion at the Living Wage Foundation Champion Awards, and ten months after it featured in the Sunday Times’ 10 Fast Track Ones to Watch.
And alongside sponsoring next month’s Security and Fire Excellence Awards, FRG has been shortlisted in no fewer than five categories, including Outsourced Security Individual or Team of the Year and Security Guarding Company of the Year over £25m turnover.
Mr Tahlil and Mr Chibaka, both East African immigrants, started the company – which provides security and facilities management services to a wide range of clients in the public and private sectors – in 2007.
From nothing, it now employs more than 500 people, and in July this year reported a sales turnover of £25m. In the process, the profitable business which counts AXA Insurance amongst its top Blue Chip customers, has made two successful acquisitions.
Last year, it was brought in by the University of Oxford to bolster security at its Covid-19 research facility. FRG was recommended for the highly important security detail after successfully demonstrating its expertise and reliability with the University during the first national lockdown.
Jamal, who is well experienced in facilities managements, construction, real estate and insurance risk managements, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have recognised for our combined achievements at the Black British Business Awards. To win Black British Businesspeople of the Year, the top prize, is simply incredible.
“We started our business from nothing, but with hard work and a shared vision it has now outgrown even our expectations. This award also recognises the dedication of our whole team, without whom we would not be where we are today – one of the leading names in the UK’s security and FM sectors.”
Edgar, who serves as Executive Board Chairman of the UK Malawi Business Group that fosters bilateral business between the UK and Malawi, added: “I’d like to thank our colleagues at FRG for believing in our vision and running with it to consistently deliver fantastic and innovative customer experiences.
“To our customers, thank you for trusting our promise that we ‘listen, respond and deliver’. To our supply chain, thank you for your support.”
Sophie Chandauka, Executive Founder and Chair of the Black British Business Awards said: “It is an honour to shine a spotlight on this year’s winners who are not only doing remarkable things in their own organisations but also in their personal lives.
“This year’s senior leaders epitomise the meaning of ‘role models’. They are leading significant commercial functions whilst acting as wise counsel for their investors, boards of directors and rising talent during the pandemic and period of social unrest. Congratulations again to all of this year’s winners and finalists.”
More information about First Response Group and its innovative products and surveys is available from its website, https://www.firstresponsegroup.com/