Indian businessman Ansif Ashraf dies of Covid-19 in Sharjah

Tributes paid to entrepreneur, 37, best known for owning the 'British Herald'

Ansif Ashraf, an Indian entrepreneur and journalist, died of Covid-19 on Wednesday in Sharjah. He was 37.

The businessman was best known for owning the British Herald, a UK online news site and magazine which he bought in 2018. He got his start in media six years prior at the Cochin Herald, a weekly newspaper founded by his father in 1992.

Ashraf was born in Thane, a city just outside Mumbai. He began his career as a graphic designer in 2000 during the early years of the internet revolution in India.

He went on to establish Paradise Group in 2006, a trading company that dealt rubber and carbon black. Two years later, he founded AGI Holdings, a company that sold centrifuge separators.

Ashraf went on to establish the Fly With Me mobile application and found the Young Chamber of Commerce.

On Wednesday, tributes were paid to Ashraf online. Baron Raminder Ranger, a patron of the British Herald, tweeting: "Heartbroken to learn about the sudden death of a dear friend AnsifAshraf to Covid-19 in Dubai. He was young and dynamic entrepreneur with big ambitions. He will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace in heaven."

The British Herald reported that Ashraf died in Sharjah. No further details were immediately available.

An Islamic scholar from Zimbabwe, Ismail Menk, known as Mufti Menk, offered his condolences.

"Saddened by the death of my good friend Ansif Ashraf who passed away this morning in the UAE. May Allah Almighty forgive his shortcomings and grant him Paradise. May Allah Almighty make it easy for his family. Aameen," he wrote on Twitter.

Abdirahman Saylici, vice president of Somaliland, said: "I am deeply saddened to hear about the death of a good friend of Somaliland Brother Ansif Ashraf who passed away this morning in Dubai. May Allah forgive him and grant him Jannah."

Ashraf is survived by his wife, Ramzeen Ansif, and their two children.