Two leading Midland businessmen have teamed up to buy the region’s highest rated Michelin Guide Indian restaurant.
Longstanding friends financier Paul Bassi and Pawan Kenth, managing director of Corporatewear ukplc, have acquired the UK franchise rights of Asha’s from Regent Inns plc for an undisclosed figure. The deal saves and secures 30 jobs.
The 300-capacity restaurant in Newhall Street, Birmingham, is a favourite with the city’s professional community and the two have plans to raise its profile in the corporate meetings market, having already created new private dining facilities.
Asha’s opened two years ago with a £1.2 million fit-out and recently hosted the cast of the hit film Slumdog Millionaire when they visited Birmingham. It is also a popular venue for the region’s professional footballers and television personalities.
The restaurant is named after Grammy nominated Indian singer Asha Bhosle and has sister restaurants in Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain, Abhu Dhabi, and two in Kuwait, where it has been phenomenally successful.
In its first two years it has already received a host of awards including Taste of Birmingham – Best Newcomers 2007, Best in Britain Award – Best Newcomers 2007, and British Curry Award – Best Newcomers 2007 and finalist 2008.
Mr Bassi said: “I think I know a bit about Indian food and my waistline proves it.
“The quality of cuisine is outstanding, with all our chefs having been trained and recruited from India.
“We really wanted to retain the region’s only international restaurant brand for Birmingham and help secure 30 jobs in the present economic climate.
“The existing management have firmly established Asha’s as the leading Indian restaurant in the region and recognition in the Michelin Guide is a very strong independent endorsement.
“This is an interesting business climate for those who are looking to acquire businesses.”
The duo were advised by Susheel Gupta of Black Country law firm Higgs & Sons, himself a regular customer.
Paul Bassi is chief executive of Real Estate Investors plc and chairman of Bond Wolfe and Bigwood chartered surveyors. He recently took on the role of High Sheriff of the West Midlands and will become president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce in October.
Pawan Kenth, a former Entrepreneur of the Year, said: “Paul and I agree that Asha’s represented a quality premium brand business, with significant growth opportunities.