THERE was a reason Boris Johnson couldn’t attend the launch of Sonia Purnell’s Just Boris biography on Tuesday night. The London mayor was otherwise engaged presenting KP Singh, the chairman of India’s largest real estate developer DLF, with the entrepreneur of the year award at the Asian Awards.

Singh, the Forbes billionaire who has made “pathbreaking and visionary contributions” to the building of modern India, was one of the headline names at the Grosvenor hotel event, hosted by Lord Sebastian Coe with a video address from David Cameron.

The Prime Minister congratulated all the winners on their “contribution to the British and global economy and culture” – but the man who has influenced the lives of the greatest number of people is Amit Singhal, the man behind Google search.

“I always wanted to build something my mum could use, and I am happy to say that I did,” said the master of Google’s ranking system as he collected his award for Outstanding Contribution to Science and Technology.

Completing the line-up of business winners was billionaire Anand Mahindra, the vice chairman and managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra, who received the Lloyds Banking Group business leader of the year award from the bank’s sari-wearing CEO of corporate banking Diana Brightmore-Armour.

There’s a lot of money in manufacturing tractors – $7bn, in fact, the amount the industrial conglomerate is now worth after Mahindra “cracked some of India’s biggest domestic deals”.

WHO SAYS accountants don’t have a sense of humour? Someone at PwC has named the bird of prey that patrols the Big Four firm’s Embankment offices Russell – make the link to the actor Russell Crowe yourself.

“The bird of prey is always on guard,” revealed a PwC hawk. “We suppose it’s quite a cunning way of keeping pigeons from settling on the ramparts.” Before other financial services firms start rushing to the falcon breeders, however, be advised that “Russell” is in reality a paper kite attached to a pole on the outside of the auditor’s fourth floor.

BERWIN Leighton Paisner’s Succah in the City event is getting “bigger and bigger each year”, said the chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks of Aldgate, as he addressed the crowd of prominent Jewish businessmen at the event to mark the festival of Succot.

Gathering on a terrace overlooking the River Thames to reflect on the wandering of the Jews after their exodus from Egypt were Hedley Goldberg, MD at Rothschild; Maurice Helfgott, founder of Amery Capital; Development Securities CEO Michael Marx; and Boris Ivesha, the CEO of Park Plaza Hotels. The law firm’s Succah tent will remain open to the Jewish community for the remainder of the religious festival.

THE Commodores’ Cup yacht race is still nine months away, but Brewin Dolphin yesterday staked its claim as the competition’s new title sponsor. “We are not newcomers to the world of sailing,” said CEO Jamie Matheson, reminding his audience at a Royal Ocean Racing Club lunch that the investment manager already backs the Scottish Series.

“The Commodores’ Club has its own rich heritage and this fits well with Brewin Dolphin as our firm goes back two-and-a-half centuries,” he added.

A NEW goal for the charity set up in memory of the late football legend Bobby Robson: to raise more than £250,000 in the online auction by the close of play on Sunday.

All proceeds will be split equally between the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. See