450 CLUB MEMBER FOCUS: Generosity through the generations

450 CLUB MEMBER FOCUS: Generosity through the generations

Priyan Shah and his family are so passionate about encouraging the next generation that they have set up their own educational awards scheme.

Together with his parents, Dhiru and Rami, Priyan (OE 1991–1998) visited the School this term to present DVS Foundation Awards to ten of the current Year 12s. These aim to promote a virtuous circle of motivation and success, together with kindness. And the awards are only one facet of the family’s philanthropic work: the foundation’s focus is on education, food insecurity and healthcare, in both the UK and East Africa.

Priyan read Accounting & Finance at the University of Kent at Canterbury and then completed a postgraduate degree at the LSE. His father established the family’s commercial real estate investment business, DVS Property, in 1985. The company specialises in UK institutional real estate investment across sectors including logistics, automotive, out-of-town retail, supermarkets, as well as holding occupational assets that include student accommodation and hotels.

Having been part of the business throughout his career, Priyan today runs the company with his brothers, Julan and Prag. He is also actively involved in the running of the foundation, which was set up in 2012 to formalise the family’s giving.

Introducing its work in a special assembly, he explained that the foundation supports other organisations as well as operating its own programmes. These programmes include not only the awards programme, which was launched in 2021, but also its WhyOhYou personal development programme. QE plans to get involved in WhyOhYou in the autumn.

“Focusing on the individual (the name is a play on words for ‘YOU’), the programme is a five-week personal development journey that provides youth aged 15–18 with the space and tools to explore who they are, what they want and how to achieve it,” Priyan said. WhyOhYou is run by Rupal Shah (no relation), who was recruited by the foundation approximately four years ago, and by Priyan’s wife, Asmi, who has worked at EY for over ten years as an actuary and supports the global firm’s mentoring programme.

The Headmaster thanked him and his parents for their visit: “We are really grateful to the family for their generosity in awarding each of our ten prize winners a £100 Amazon voucher, and I know that the whole Year 12 year group are, in turn, grateful for the great advice Priyan passed on to them. I look forward to working with the foundation through WhyOhYou in the coming months: my thanks go to Rupal Shah for her work coordinating the scheme.”

The awards, set out below, cover a number of academic subjects, as well as extra-curricular activities. Among the winners is Atul Kanodia, who, as reported in the last issue of QE Connect, is a fellow member – the youngest on the roll – of the 450 Club.

Priyan and Asmi have a daughter and baby son. Priyan enjoys travelling and hiking. A long-time racquet sports enthusiast, he continues to play tennis and badminton.

Priyan joined the 450 Club in October 2021 and, in this capacity, attended the formal opening of The Friends’ Recital Hall and Music Rooms earlier this term.

Excellence in Commerce Krish Narula
Excellence in Technology Yash Shah
Excellence in Creatives Jao-Yong Tsai
Excellence in English Ryan Bentley
Excellence in Mathematics Haipei Jiang
Excellence in Sciences Amogh Bhartia
Excellence in Humanities & Social Sciences Jai Patel
Excellence in Languages Alan Yee Kin Yan
Excellence in Sport/PE Dilan Patel
Excellence in Extra-curricular/Kindness & Contribution in the Community Atul Kanodia