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Haweli success
shows value of hard work
Raju Sattar started Twyford’s Haweli
Restaurant in 1997 and its success
since then has been impressive.
However as Spice Business found out
when it spoke to Raju, the road to the
top has not been easy.
Raju’s father, Abdul Sattar, started his
first restaurant, Diwan-e-Khas, way
back in 1966, when he was one of the
first Bengali restaurateurs in the south
east of England. Raju recalls, “Sending
his sons to school for a sound educa-
tion was his main focus as with any
Bangladeshi family.” However in 1994,
things took a turn for the worse as his
father suffered a major heart attack.
As Raju was only 14 years of age and
still at school it was a major shock.
Suddenly from having a chain of suc-
cessful restaurants Abdul Sattar
found he was unable to continue with
his passion. One by one the restau-
rants were sold, some completely and
some to family. Raju says, “The road
to recovery was slow but assured with
Allah Almighty’s help. My father felt
that he had let his sons down at a vital
point in our lives and that he had not
provided enough for us to advance fur-
ther in life. This affected my studies, as
my father was a personal hero of mine.
My grades came down and spending
more time with my father rather than
school was evident.”
At the age of 15 Raju began his working
life in one of the remaining restaurants
that was sold to a family member.
“Hard it was, but a quitter I was not,”
says Raju. “After all neither was my
father.” Working up the ranks Raju
became confident in taking orders
and handling day-to-day tasks. But
working in a curry house was not his
objective. Running a restaurant that
competed on the same platform as any
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