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Indians dominate Asian Business Awards

Ayurveda expert Minal Vohra was named Young Achiever of the Year, while Dr Sunny Luthra won Newcomer of the Year award.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2003 21:39 IST

Ayurveda sells in the West. But a passion for the old Indian form of medicine helped Minal Vohra, a 33-year-old business graduate, to be named Young Achiever of the Year in the Asian Business Awards.

Her approach was more traditional, a far cry from the Ayurvedic beauty products and medicines that flood the shelves of stores. She applied it to diet and nutrition.

After studying at the University of Bath, she developed an interest in Ayurveda and researched the subject and established Higher Living Ayurvedic Health Foods in Primrose Hill, London. Her company's products are available in stores like Selfridges and Waitrose. Her products include herbal therapy teas, a natural sweetener called Shakgura and organic rice "grown in the Ayurvedic way in properly-balanced soil."

She said: "I wanted to do something that would make a difference to people's lives. I studied healthy living and found Ayurveda was the most profound, overwhelming subject.

"I saw a lot of interesting products one could produce in Ayurveda to enhance people's lives and identified a good business opportunity."

Delhi-born dentist Sunny Luthra was named Newcomer of the Year. A pioneer in tooth whitening, Dr Luthra has 15 treatment centres in Britain and lectures at dental seminars across Europe. Apart from dealing with Bollywood film stars, models and pop stars, he has also worked as the dentist for the Indian cricket team and Chelsea Football Club. He is worth an estimated £30 million.

Cobra Beer, founded by Karan Bilimoria, won the Business of the Year award. The beer is sold in more than 5,000 Indian restaurants and multiples in Britain and is exported to 30 countries. He is adding South African wines to his company which supplies house wines to restaurants. His wealth is estimated at £21 million.

First Published: Dec 27, 2003 21:39 IST