THE FIRM

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Related tags: Indian cuisine

Your cut-out-and-keep guide to top employers 49. Patak's

In a nutshell: Patak's claims to be the first family of Indian processed foods in Britain. It has a workforce of over 500 staff and sells its products in more than 50 countries worldwide.

History: With just £5 in his pocket, Laxmishanker Pathak (the h was dropped for the company name to make it easier to pronounce) moved to the UK from Kenya in 1956 with his wife and six children. The pair soon started making and selling samosas in their kitchen and eventually opened a store in London. However, following a "disastrous distribution arrangement" that put the company in trouble, Pathak enlisted his family members, including 17 year-old son Kirit, to help save the ailing business. On a buying trip to India in 1976 Kirit met his now wife Meena, who became the creator of the company's famous pastes and sauces. Over the past 15 years the company has grown 10-fold to become a £70m business.

Brands you'd recognise: Patak's has the full Bombay mix of branded products, including curry pastes, sauces, ready meals, pickles, naan breads and poppadums. It also supplies curry pastes to many Indian restaurants around the country.

The strategy: "To enable consumers to enjoy contemporary authentic Indian food and flavour at its best," it says.

Where you'd work: If size is your thing then try the company's ambient sauce plant at Leigh, which it claims is the world's largest Indian food factory. You could also try your hand at its frozen foods plant at Dundee, its breads plant at Cumbernauld or its head office at Haydock.

Do say at interview: It's an honour to be here (Kirit received the OBE in 1996, as did Meena three years later).

Don't say at interview: Less of the argee bhaji (Kirit's two sisters sparked a family feud earlier this year by taking the company to court over a shares dispute. The court case ended in a settlement for the sisters, but the next family dinner could be a bit of a curry powder keg!)

Contact: 01942 272 300, http://www.pataks.co.uk

Related topics: People & Skills

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