A 28-year old Birmingham entrepreneur who spent £750,000 fitting out his new city centre restaurant has survived his first month as a restaurateur - but it wasn't easy.
Raj Rana's Indian restaurant, Itihaas, has attracted something of a following, selling out for Valentine's Day and becoming increasingly busy as word spreads.
This has come as something to a relief for Raj, who admits that despite a deceptively long business career this is his first venture into the notoriously tricky restaurant business.
"Investing that much in a business you know nothing about was a risk," Raj admits. "But I knew what I wanted and what Birmingham needed."
He felt despite the balti-belt on the Stratford Road, the city centre was lacking a luxurious Indian restaurant - with authentic Indian service.
With a fine eye for detail he has sourced chefs and waiters from India and brought them over to the UK.
"We wanted the food and the service to be as genuine as possible. I was prepared to take the gamble."
His drive to make the restaurant authentic involved scavenging around India, where he picked up 300-year old doors, marble window frames and the pride of his collection - a 200-year old frame called a Jali.
"These details were as important to me as opening up the restaurant in the first place," he says, adding that Itihaas mean history. "We didn't just want gimmicks, this was a central part of the project."
Although Raj is only 28 years old, he has had a long experience in business - first working alongside his father in the family jewellery business, Suria Jewellers, from the age of 12.
"It is the kind of education you can't receive from textbooks," he says. "I was manufacturing and cutting diamonds from the age of 12."
When Raj was 15 his father died, and Raj took on the business.
"I was dealing with gold and platinum, suddenly writing cheques for hundreds of thousands of pounds. It was very daunting."
But his social crowd of older businessmen proved a " priceless" education.
In 2000 he spread his wings and took over a menswear import business, Santino, which was based in the Burlington Arcade.
"It taught me the world outside jewellery. Our products in the jewellery business were very Asian. At Santino I had to look to a wider audience, and went to fashion shows all over Europe, but it wasn't as lucrative as jewellery."
The young entrepreneur then moved into property development, setting up Lanesway in 2002, which he says in now valued at £2.5 million. But for Raj it was not enough - he wanted to make more of an impact.
"I was selling a lot of property around Birmingham but nothing reflected my personality.
"The property business gave me the knowledge and the itch for the restaurant business. I started to search for a suitable location where I could build the restaurant from scratch."
He found the development on the corner of Fleet Street and Newhall Street and decided it was perfect, buying a 125-year lease to the 5,500 square feet site.
"I got what I wanted, a concrete shell."
Alas, his shell was below seven storeys of luxury apartments, requiring the unexpected addition of an odour filtration system which pumps smells to the roof, where they are cleansed.
This required him blocking off Newhall Street at 4am, when a crane was erected to lift the system into place.
"It wasn't very popular," he admits.
But now as he sits in the wood-clad Tiffin Room, where people can smoke cigars and eat with their own butler on hand (for no less than £600 a table) he is delighted with the ways things have worked out.
"Valentine's Day was a big moment," he says. "That it was sold out was a real indication of trust and that is a huge compliment."
And he has found the satisfaction he was looking for in setting up a team.
His employees from India are on three-year work visas, and are living in a converted nursing home in Edgbaston that Raj bought for the purpose.
"We eat together, it helps eliminate the hierarchy. They all left their own families in India, but we are each others' family now."