Lopa Patel, founder of Asian lifestyle portal Redhotcurry.com, has become the first Indian woman to be elected fellow of Britain's Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
The world's largest body of marketing with nearly 50,000 members across the globe, CIM has a total of 1,905 fellows of which women comprise a mere 10 per cent.
Obviously thrilled at the honour bestowed on her, as the fellowship is conferred upon only those with considerable expertise at a senior level, Patel said: "I hope to work with the institute in increasing the professional recognition of excellence in marketing."
Hailing from Gujarat, Patel's start to her flourishing career in marketing began "like most young Asians at that time". She chose to study science to please her parents and although her first job was with chemical manufacturer ICI she opted for a role in marketing at the outset.
After becoming a member of CIM in 1990, Patel earned the institute's diploma in marketing in 1991. Thereon she became a chartered member in 1998 and worked her way through her career.
Talking about a career in marketing, Patel said: "A career in marketing can be hugely rewarding. For young Asians, the industry offers the double opportunity of career progression and entrepreneurship. The industry thrives on many self-employed, freelance workers and consultants.
"It has also become a more 'respectable profession' in the minds of older Asians," she added.