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shah and the star
Shah came to England from Bangladesh at the age of 5. His parents wanted him to learn English and to study towards a degree in the UK. His father, in true entrepreneurial spirit saw a gap in the market for a 'family' run Indian restaurant where home cooking techniques were employed. In 1977 he found premises in Leytonstone High Road and the family business was launched. As a child Shah spent all his free time watching chefs prepare and cook Indian food using traditional techniques - skills that eventually would stand him in good stead . Although not destined to work in the family business, the untimely death of his father meant that Shah had to give up his degree course to manage the thriving business.

Now married with four young children, Shah divides his time between the restaurant and other local business interests. He is an acknowledged entrepreneur with an amazing capacity for ideas and initiatives to support local issues and was recently invited to Number 10 to attend a local entrepreneurs reception hosted by the PM. He is chairman of Leytonstone Business Forum, a local enterprise which looks to improve and develop the area for residents and businesses and was involved with the introduction of BID - an initiative of the Business Forum which aims to encourage new businesses to the area. Shah also publishes the highly successful DISH magazine a tri-annual glossy containing news on what's happening at Star of India, food ideas, drinks, recipes and general interest features. Launched in 2010, the magazine is distributed to over 35,000 homes in the area.

However, even with high profile business commitments, Shah's main focus is his family and the restaurant. He is a tireless supporter of many local charities and to celebrate the restaurant's 30th Birthday two years ago, he launched the STAR TRUST, which will raise money for local groups in need. He also organises many events at the restaurant to entertain customers including fashion shows, auctions, quiz nights and musical evenings - with proceeds going to local charities.

Under Shah's careful management, the Star continues to thrive. In 2009 they received the "People's Choice" Award in the Guardian Series Restaurant of the Year Awards for the third year running. In 2009 year they received the "Customer Service Excellence" Award. New menus continue to excite and satisfy customers. This year saw the introduction of a range of exotic fish dishes and new vegetarian options using exciting new combinations of fruits and vegetables.

Shah is philosophical about his drive and determination: "I love what I do and I thrive on challenge. My father gave me the best hands on business education possible as well as respect for good food. I have the best restaurant staff in London. But most of all, I want the best restaurant experience for my customers and that's what drives me.