Romail Gulzar FRSA is founder and director of Pukaar Group, a multinational media and events company headquartered in Leicester, England.
With over two decades of journalism experience, he is driven by a desire to champion his local community and showcase diverse narratives through his work.
Romail is also a successful entrepreneur and has contributed greatly to the East Midlands business sector with his commercial endeavours. He also passionately supports the development of upcoming local talent and is renowned for offering space on his platform for budding writers, broadcasters and cameramen.
Also a dedicated community advocate, after years of voluntary work, in 2015 Romail was appointed the first Asian Chair of Crimestoppers Leicestershire and Rutland and a year later, was also appointed the Chair of Crimestoppers Nottinghamshire. All in all, he served for the organisations for close to a decade and in this time, successfully launched a number of neighbourhood initiatives.
Amongst the various awards he has been given, in 2005, his services to the community were formally recognised when he became recipient of a Millennium Award and the Recognition of Services to the Not-For-Profit Sector Award by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Since his childhood years, Romail has nurtured a passion for storytelling but it was through his own troubled minority status in a third world country that he realised the power of media narratives and the role they played in unveiling discrimination and prejudice.
It was this experience that propelled him to undertake a formal education in journalism and after obtaining a Higher National Diploma in television and journalism from South Leicestershire College, he studied Film Journalism at an Indian institute called the Asian Academy of Film and Television (AAFT).
In 2010, Romail launched Pukaar News, a news agency and website which has gone on to provide broadcast media for the BBC, Sky News and ITV and launched the careers of dozens of local young journalists and media professionals. Following this was the launch of printed publication, Pukaar Magazine, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and has featured cover stars such as Sir David Attenborough, Singer Sam Bailey and Olympian Luke Greenbank.
Due to his contributions, in 2019 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of his achievements towards social progress and development. He also became a member of the Royal Television Society (RTS) in 2015. He was later named in the Leicester Mercury’s Most Influential list and received an award from the High Sheriff of Leicestershire.
Due to his work in the world of journalism, Romail was invited to ITV Central’s Diversity Panel where his role was to raise awareness of diversity on the broadcasting channel and help the board make improvements where needed. He also enjoys imparting the wisdom he has gathered to the next generation of journalists and is a frequent guest speaker at educational faculties nationally and internationally.
Following the establishment of his media organisations, Romail shifted his focus to creating events that would showcase local talent and diversity. The annual competition, Leicester’s Got Talent, kicked off in 2013 and shone a light on young and upcoming performers from the region and gave them a platform to grow in confidence and gain publicity for further opportunities.
Next came the Leicester Curry Awards, a ceremony of seven categories, designed to recognise and reward the city’s finest curry houses. In its fourth year, the event was televised to a global audience by television network PTC Punjabi. Following the success of the hometown event, Romail decided to try the formula abroad and the Canadian counterpart, the Toronto Curry Awards, launched in 2018 to widespread praise.
In the same year, to firmly stamp his mark on the British-South Asian culinary scene, Romail created National Samosa Week which runs from April 9th – 13th every year and aims to encourage people of all cultural backgrounds to try the savoury snack. The annual holiday received global press coverage, with all proceeds from the launch being donated to charity.
In 2020, Romail unveiled his plans to launch the Ethnic Media Awards, a flagship awards programme for professionals from a minority ethnic background. Although the ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic, upon its launch, it will be the first of its kind in recognising, promoting and rewarding minority ethnic individuals who are pushing the boundaries of accomplishment in their chosen field.
Despite the set back of the event, during the pandemic lockdown, Romail instead turned his attention to uniting the local community and providing help where it was most needed. He launched the Always In Our Thoughts campaign to recognise and remember people who had been affected by Covid-19 and successfully raised money for two charities. The efforts of the campaign were formally acknowledged by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Today, although Romail operates an array of successful projects and wears a number of professional hats, the parts that make up his day-to-day work all ultimately remain united by his vision to promote diversity, inclusion and community.