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October 10, 2022 69mins

Dishoom’s Co-Founder Shamil Thakrar, on building a soulful, poetic business

This week, Holly was lucky enough to sit down with Shamil Thakrar, over a cup of Dishoom’s freshly brewed chai tea, and learnt what’s really at the heart of his business.

At the very beginning, Shamil and his co-founders set out with the goal of bringing the beauty of the Irani cafés they so loved in Bombay to the UK. Now with nine restaurants across the country – boy did they do just that.

Coming from a business school and consultancy background, in his younger years, Shamil was far from the path of owning a restaurant. However, with passion and more than a stroke of determination to prove the naysayers wrong, he used this experience to follow his dream. In 2010, the first Dishoom restaurant was born.

However, it wasn’t always smooth sailing, and Shamil learnt that focusing solely on the numbers and profits was holding both him and the business back.

Shamil soon began pioneering a new approach – putting culture, soulfulness, kindness and authenticity centre stage, fuelled by his recognition that, “Anything, to be truly successful, has to have a bit of poetry at its heart”.

Encapsulating what it means to be in love with your business, Shamil shares how incorporating creativity with history and art has allowed him to build a truly immersive brand, loved by many.

If you enjoyed this conversation, you might also enjoy Holly’s episode with Lord Billamoria, founder of Cobra Beer.

This Conversations of Inspiration podcast episode is brought to you with support from Adobe Express.

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