Sometimes your dreams don’t go as planned, but that isn’t always a negative thing.

Many people strive for success but don’t know where to begin. Success is finding your passion and committing yourself.

My success and passion now lies in the Indian food industry and I believe everything happens for a reason.

A part-time job in a restaurant at the age of 14 gave me an insight to an industry that I had never considered.

Although originally only working to help my father’s friend, instantly, from the first shift, I fell in love with the atmosphere, the pace and with meeting new people.

I continued to work at the restaurant every Friday and Saturday, alongside another part-time job.

After completing my GCSEs and A-Levels, although I had applied to study psychology, sociology and media at university in 1995, I instead began my first business, by opening my first restaurant in partnership, The Chutneys Indian Brasserie on St Michael’s Street.

I haven’t looked back since.

Sometimes in life we must be optimistic and take that leap of faith in order to make a difference. and this worked for me as the restaurant became a great success. It meant I could open my second restaurant in my home town of Oxford the following year, Samad’s on Park End Street.

After ten successful years in the business, I opened my third restaurant brand, Spice Lounge in Burford and sold my first two.

Although I love my career, I am open about the stress that comes with working in the restaurant industry.

Moving on to the present, I continue to dedicate my time to the food industry by focusing on Spice Lounge and my wholesale cash and carry business.

My commitment to the industry has evidently paid off as my Oxfordshire restaurant was recently awarded with ARTA’s (Asian Restaurant & Takeaway Awards) South Central Region award in September.

The organisation recognises excellence in the industry.

This year has been a great year for my career as my Spice Lounge team and I will also be heading to Luxembourg in November to compete for the World Culinary Cup after impressing the judges and being shortlisted.

The World Culinary Cup takes place every four years and is believed to be one of the most prestigious awards worldwide.

Around 58 teams selected globally will battle it out for the highly sought after title.

My customers have given me fantastic support during my journey and the dedication of my hardworking team is truly reflected through these great achievements.

Although the restaurant industry is a difficult trade, I stay motivated for the future with my dream of introducing the new generation to the industry by showing them the glamorous side.

It isn’t all work and no play.