Asha’s restaurant owner Brandasia Holdings is set to expand its popular eateries thoughout the UK with the backing of Yorkshire Bank.
Brandasia, part of the Bond Wolfe group, is planning to invest £3 million in opening new Asha’s restaurants as well as Subway chains in the Midlands.
It is also seeking opportunities in London, Manchester, Leicester and Leeds having enjoyed success with Asha’s restaurant in Birmingham city centre.
Legendary Indian singer Asha Bhosle opened the first UK restaurant on Newhall Street in Birmingham in December 2006 and signed over the rights to the Asha’s master franchise in the UK to Brandasia around 14 months ago.
The firm was bought out last year by property entrepreneur Paul Bassi and Pawan Kenth, managing director of Corporatewear and a former Entrepreneur of the Year.
Brandasia has now set about adding to its portfolio having secured £1 million of funding from Yorkshire Bank’s Birmingham Financial Solutions Centre on Temple Row.
Mr Kenth said: “We’ve enjoyed tremendous success in running our award-winning restaurant in Birmingham which has won numerous accolades including Best Restaurant Award 2009-10 by the West Midlands Curry Award, the Diners Choice Award 2010 by Opentable and Best Newcomer 2007 by Best In Britain and the British Curry Awards.
“Asha’s has got a really strong reputation in the Midlands and I’m confident the brand will prove to be just as popular in other parts of the country.
“Talks are ongoing every day to secure sites for the new franchises and we hope to have the UK’s second Asha’s restaurant open soon.
“We have appointed an experienced surveyor starting in September, Neil Comnley, formerly with Marston’s and Enterprise Brewers, to assist in this growth.”
Asha’s already has restaurants based in Dubai, Quatar, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait and the opening of the new restaurants by Brandasia will create between 30 and 40 jobs at each site.
Mr Kenth also said the firm is pushing ahead with plans to buy a further 20 Subway restaurant franchises across the Midlands and said the support of Yorkshire Bank was central to the company’s expansion.
“We already operate four Subway stores including Merry Hill and Five Ways and we hope to open another at York House in New Hall Street in Birmingham city centre later this year and this further expansion will lead to as many as 150 new jobs being created,” he said.
Nigel Wood, a business banking partner at Yorkshire Bank’s FSC in Birmingham, said the expansion of the Asha’s chain is a great success story for the city and the West Midlands.
“The opening of Birmingham’s only international Asian restaurant was great news for the city and the restaurant has really gone from strength to strength.
“It is the regular haunt of celebrities, footballers and the region’s professional and business people,” he said.