Passing it on: old boy’s award scheme to encourage the next generation

Passing it on: old boy’s award scheme to encourage the next generation

Old Elizabethan Priyan Shah and his family are so passionate about education that they have set up their own awards scheme to encourage the pupils of today.

Together with his parents, Dhiru and Rami, Priyan (OE 1991–1998) visited the School to present DVS Foundation Awards to ten sixth-formers.

The awards seek to promote a virtuous circle of motivation and success, together with kindness. And they 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.

Headmaster Neil Enright thanked Priyan and his parents for their visit, during which they addressed the whole of the current Year 13: “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 group are, in turn, grateful for the great advice Priyan passed on to them.”

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 property investment business, DVS Property, in 1985. The company specialises in UK institutional real estate investment across sectors including logistics, automotive, out-of-town retail and 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  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 during 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,” said Priyan, who is a member of the School’s philanthropic 450 Club. 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 added: “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.

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.

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