Chaudhri Riaz

Born: 10th June 1946

Nanka Kohana, Pakistan

Date of interview: 25th May 2006

Map showing where Chaudhri Riaz came from

OK, when you came to England did your impression change from the one that you had before you came into this country?

Ah [pause] ... yes and no. Because there weren't many people and unfortunately the people who came before me [pause] maybe they didn't give the good impression. I came from a social environment where obviously ... to be honest with you it was considered to be a privileged class, and when you came here obviously the ... most of the people are, they were wonderful and nice, but there were people, and you know you could feel that you know they were ... they had their reservations and you know they thought, 'Oh my God.' You know and that happened when I became an accountant and I started my own practice. When they booked an appointment to come in and they saw, and ... you know, some people who didn't have any experience of dealing with [er] ... Indians or Asian person or Pakistani person ... you know they thought, you know ... the first look that you get you sometimes, not always, some ... it depends what exposure the people had who were dealing with you. And they just assumed probably that either you are incompetent or you are not going to be able to do it, or you will not do it properly ... the job and all that.

But I'm proud to say that I have got clients with me who have been with me for the last thirty-nine years, or twenty-nine years, thirty years. So obviously those people and ... I haven't got more than I think three or four Asian clients. You know, the rest are all local clients. But then I was lucky because I had clients who were American, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Australian, African, Asian, you know ... Middle East, everywhere. So I never really ran my practice as an Indian or as a Pakistani or as an Asian. I ran my practice as a professional, you know, who will render the professional services to anyone who comes in. And I'm very proud to say that probably I am now one of the oldest, established practice in Reading because I have completed thirty-one years. You know, my firm Brain and Co is about twenty-six, twenty-seven years, but you know I used to have AA and Co before then and overall my practice is about thirty one years old now.