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14 April 2004
The Herald
Gill scoops top Asian honour



Glasgow's curry king Charan Gill carried away the top honour at the Asian Business Awards in London last night.
The former Yarrow shipyard fitter, who is managing director of the 17m-a-year Harlequin Leisure property and restaurant empire, picked up the title of Entrepreneur of the Year.
A be-kilted Gill said he and his family were "chuffed" he had been given the award by Eastern Eye, Britain's biggest-selling Asian newspaper.
Gill said: "It is twofold it is good to be recognised, as these awards promote Asian business, highlighting the contribution they make to the British economy.
"For too long, people from England, including the Asian community, have not seen beyond Carlisle. So for me to pick up this award recognises Glasgow and Scotland as well."
Gill founded the Ashoka chain of restaurants in 1984 with his business partner Gurmail Dhillon and now has 17 outlets across the central belt, including Mister Singh's, Kama Sutra, Whisky Galore, and The Spice of Life.
In 2002, he launched the "Ashoka Shak" brand to provide quality Indian cuisine in out-of-town retail and leisure parks and in April 2003 he created a stir by opening Scotland's first-ever Curry Karaoke Club.
Gill, who now employs more than 450 staff, said he is hoping to open his first restaurant in Edinburgh but is not yet able to reveal the location.
He said: "We are in negotiations at the moment and are close to signing. I don't see why we can't be as successful in Edinburgh as we have been in Glasgow.
"We have a tried and tested formula, which is to provide customers with good food."
 
CHRISTINE FERGUSON April 14 2004



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