Desi High Street looks to Richard Branson for support

Desi High Street looks to Richard Branson for support

West Yorkshire businesswoman Kuljit Thiaray is calling on the regions business community to help her win a share of £1,000,000 and pitch her business to Richard Branson as part of VOOM 2016.

The Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 competition relies on public votes at www.vmbvoom.com to shortlist the UK and Ireland’s most exciting entrepreneurs, and Kuljit, 40 from Leeds, believes Desi High Street has the idea to impress the public.

The company based at the Entrepreneurial Spark hatchery in Leeds is an online shopping destination for #AllThingsEthnic. Founded by entrepreneur and mum Kuljit, the business provides an online platform for independent retailers who sell ethnic, ‘Desi’ and South Asian goods.

Having left a successful career as a senior lecturer in pharmacy practice at the University of Bradford to pursue her own business, Kuljit is dedicated to digitalising a key UK market and believes she has what it takes to make it happen.

She said: “My vision is to bring the UK's ethnic market online, on to one website. We are not taking the shops away from the community, but providing them with an additional income stream to complement their established businesses.

“We have set out to digitalise a traditional industry in the UK, and to support small businesses in the process. This market has been successful in India, but in the UK retailers have not fully embraced e-commerce.

“Desi High Street is responding to the changing needs of customers and the fact that the UK’s ethnic market has not kept up with them.

“We are helping these retailers to future-proof their businesses and to compete with international online retailers who are selling directly to UK customers.”

Kuljit’s business has already been recognised as a finalist in The Times Ready Business Mentor Programme and by gaining a place on the Entrepreneurial Spark business accelerator programme in Leeds.

More recently, she was shortlisted in the We Are The City Rising Star Top 10 in the Entrepreneur’s category, which is also open for a public vote.