Mompreneur Salima Manji Bringing South Asians Together, One Couple at a Time

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By Anjum Choudhry Nayyar

Salima Manji, mother of two says having her own business gives her sense of independence and freedom.  She launched Asian Dinner Club, a South Asian club which hosts dinner parties for single Asian professionals who enjoy relaxing and socializing over outstanding food in some of London’s finest restaurants.

The club’s events attract individuals aged between 26- 42 years who lead hectic lives and work long hours, thereby finding it difficult to meet other like-minded Asians. Each specially organized dinner party has a maximum of 20 Members, with an even mix of women and men. Despite being divorced herself after being married for six years, she says she bringing couples together is a great experience. Masalamommas spoke to Manji about being a mompreneur and about Asian Dinner Club.

1) What’s the premise behind Asian Dinner Club?

Whilst working in investment banking, I was thinking of an alternative career that I could have which would mean I could spend more time with my kids. I also wanted to make good use of my networking skills and business skills developed over the years and after hearing my single girlfriends constantly complaining about how difficult it was to meet like-minded desi guys in London, the idea of a desi “Supper Club” came to me.

2) What need does the service fulfill?

Asian Dinner Club brings together single professional Asians who have a love of food and want to network/socialize with others.  It’s a unique Club and is more up market and stylish than other dating companies offering Speed dating or drinks events in Pubs/bars in London.

3) What inspired you to launch this company?

My love of food (good food!) inspired me to Set up this Company as a way for single Asians to come together, enjoy great food and great conversation.

4) Who are your members? What’s their profile?

My members are professionals such as investment bankers, financiers, doctors, lawyers, businessmen/women…. aged in their 30s, successful and super-choosy.

 

5) How do you juggle being a working mom and having your own business, how have you overcome challenges?

I make sure I have a good support system of friends and family, which allow me to run my business successfully. And lots of babysitters on speed dial!

6) What achievement are you most proud of?

That we’ve had 2 marriages, 3 engagements and many friendships have been formed over the last 3 years. People who would not have met due to the long hours they work, the different industries they work, have come together over dinner parties. I’m blessed to hear such wonderful stories and receive many emails saying “thank you.”

7) What changes have you seen in the young south Asian working mom population when it comes to challenges and opportunities?

Working mums are constantly juggling but have become better and better at this because of technology. Smartphones such as Blackberry allows us working mums to respond to emails even on the school run!

8) What tips can you offer moms thinking of venturing on a similar path as you?

Research your business…is there really a demand for your product or service? Also, have a great website as this is the window of your business and needs to be as professional and unique as possible.

9) Why is working important to you?

I love the independence it gives me. As well as the satisfaction, especially when couples get together.

10) How do you incorporate South Asian culture into your family life?

We attend lots of social days/evenings so kids can meet other kids from our culture. In the home, we love to watch Bollywood movies!

 

For more infomration on Asian Dinner Club in the UK visit: www.asiandinnerclub.com

 


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