Priya Lakhani: Masala Masala
Focus: Fresh Indian sauces
Priya Lakhani, 28
Company: Masala Masala
Former libel lawyer Priya Lakhani gave up a promising law career to launch fresh Indian cooking sauces, which use only fresh, authentic ingredients to make a supermarket range which she proudly claims tastes “as good as [her] mother’s”.
Only launched last year, Masala Masala’s sauces are already being stocked by major retailers Waitrose, Ocado, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Budgens, which will help the business, funded by Lakhani’s savings, to be profitable from this autumn. New product launches are in the pipeline, and Lakhani has proved that even start-ups can afford hefty corporate social responsibility strategies – an underprivileged person in India is given a hot meal for every pot of Masala Masala sold.
Lakhani stepped down as CEO of Masala Masala in December 2012 – its charitable arm has provided more than one million meals and 35,000 vaccinations to the underprivileged in India and Africa. In 2014 she launched her second business Century Tech, a company that combines big data analytics and cognitive neuroscience to help teachers provide personalised learning. Lakhani received an OBE in the New Year’s Honours 2014 for services to business, community and voluntary initiatives and is a member of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Entrepreneurs’ Forum.