Madi Sharma, managing director, Original Eastern Foods Ltd
Madi Sharma, Managing Director, Original Eastern Foods Ltd
In just seven years, Madi Sharma has gone from cooking for family and friends to supplying over 200 retail outlets throughout the UK. Her company, Original Eastern Foods Ltd, operates from two bases in Nottinghamshire, where 40 staff produce thousands of different handmade, fine quality ethnic foods. Sharma recently opened her second factory – a 3,500 square foot EEC food grade premises – and is creating 70 new jobs.
Links with other EU countries are very important for Sharma’s business strategy. Her ultimate aim is to set up operational bases in Europe, and she expects to achieve this goal within a year – she is already developing new products for a client already operating in the European market.
Madi Sharma says: “Without the EU, it would be far more difficult for me to grow my business in the way I’m doing at the moment. It’s easier now than it has ever been for us in the UK to travel, export and set up business links across the EU’s single market. For example, I recently spent time working with food development IT specialists in Denmark and as a result, I’ve now set up an organics division within the company. As part of my preparations to set up operational bases in mainland Europe, I attend all kinds of international events, such as the buyer session which the British Embassy in Stockholm recently hosted and the World & Ethnic Food Fair in Paris.
“I invest a lot of time in encouraging other local businesses to tap into European markets. I campaign locally for inward investment to attract funding to the region, as this is the only way to create sustainable jobs and encourage other local businesses to tap into European markets. The EU holds the key to the future of our local economy.”
Sharma sees the EU as a valuable source of cultural as well as business influence. She encourages her young family to embrace European culture and learn new languages – her eldest daughter is a promising linguist, and plans to join the company as Export Manager after she completes her education. Sharma sees Europe as the future, both for her business and her family.
Sharma’s samosas strike out for the single market