Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY) is a highly prestigious awards ceremony that recognises and rewards  the most talented individuals within Birmingham’s business community.

Candidates compete across six different categories:

  • Communications
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Financial Services
  • Legal
  • Property & Construction
  • Recruitment & Training

The overall winner is chosen from the winners of these six categories, awarding them the prestigious title of Birmingham Young Professional of the Year.
BYPY also recognises individuals who have made a lasting contribution to the city’s business community with the Inspiring Leader award.

How the Judges Selected the Winner

The judging process for Birmingham Young Professional of the Year has always been a rigorous one, evolving each year to incorporate new criteria and challenges for the finalist to overcome. The final stage of the process beyond the initial form filling is 'the sitting'. Once all the nominations are in, the deputy chairman of Birmingham Future, the deputy chairman of the BYPY committee and a senior representative from Birmingham's business community sort though the entry forms and whittle down the BYPY hopefuls to just 18 finalists. This year, the deputy Birmingham Future chairman Darren Walker (who is chairman of the BYPY committee) associate of law firm Cobbetts, examined the applications with the help of Bina Granatra, deputy chairman of the BYPY committee and relationship manager at Lloyds TSB and Peter Rees-Steer, former BYPY Inspiring Leaders, director of Invigour Limited and managing consultant at R-S Associates. During the past ten years, guest BYPY sifters have included Derek Inman and David Richardson.

Once the finalists have been short-listed, its over to the judging panel to cross examine the candidates, selecting a winner from each of the six categories before going on to decide which one of the category winners most deserve the title of overall BYPY.

Each candidate is given the chance to wow the judging panel, which is made up of some of Birmingham's most high-profile business leaders, during a 15 minute interview. In 2001 the first ever BYPY judging panel included names like Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham, John James, Lesley Evans, Dan Mason and Richard Jinks and during the last decade the likes of Sir Michael Lyons, Gary Taylor, Richard Edwards and Brian Woods-Scawen have all sat on the panel.

This year the judging panel were looking for someone who met their exacting criteria and who could demonstrate, among other things, their real personality and not just their professional persona, their commitment to Birmingham and the wider region and evidence of success in their chosen career. Candidates were marked on their leadership and coaching skills, their business development skills, their team work skills, their contribution to Birmingham, their awareness of local current  affairs and their interests outside work, including charity, sports and community groups.

Congratulations to the Overall BYPY Winner

The first contender from the entrepreneurial category was crowned Birmingham Young Professional of the Year at the event's 10th anniversary awards ceremony.

James Villareal,  co-founded Glide Utilities in 2006 with his business partner Sandeep Krishan to offer a solution to splitting costs in shared accommodation by billing each tenant individually.