Eyes on the award

Dedication and commitment takes you a long way and that can clearly be seen with the example of Jamal Solloum and Nilesh Soneji who were recently awarded the Lloyds TSB Southern Jewel Award as successful opticians.

Jamal and Nilesh, who started off as graduates, began with their first Dolland and Aitchison franchise in 1994.

Jamal and Nilesh are absolutely ecstatic after winning this award and have come a long way from their turbulent past.

Jamal Solloum who hails from Ramallah, Palestine, came to Islington College in 1987 to study optometry and when the war broke out, stayed back for the fear of losing out on his studies. He started a family of his own and went back to his native city after a gap of nine years to a happy reunion.

Nilesh Soneji, who was born in East Africa, was forced to flee with his family during the revolution by Idi Amin and went with his mother to India. Nine years later, Nilesh entered education and continued working hard to reach where he is now.

The pair started off in Hammersmith in 1994 and are very pleased to see that their commitment towards customer service has been recognised.

The duo opened another store in Teddington last year. According to them, consolidating the two shops is their primary motive and they want to use the Teddington branch to expand their customer base. Their priority is to concentrate on service and repeat customers thereby building loyalty.