A business that started from a small room is now a popular UK brand of Indian-style curry pastes. Patak’s was founded by a poor Indian couple in 1957.
Gujarati-British entrepreneur Lakshmishankar Pathak and his wife Shanta Pathak are the founders of Patak’s, which is a supplier of sauces, mixed spices, and ready meals to all the major supermarkets in the UK and 75% of the country’s curry houses. The business has now spread worldwide and become global.
Kenya was suffering from adversity, forcing an Indian-born guy to flee with a broken heart.
He had only £5 in his pocket, a life insurance policy, a wife, and six children to support.
He arrived in London, where he had no friends or relatives.
The only employment this Gujarati guy could find in London was cleaning the streets, and the pay was insufficient to feed his family of eight. But, while he swept the streets, he realised that he could sell Indian food on these streets and possibly offer a better life for his family.
Laxmishanker Pathak began to make samosas, sweets, chutneys and pickles with the help of his wife Shanta Gaury Pathak.
They couldn’t afford a delivery boy because they didn’t have enough money coming in. Instead, their six-year-old son Kirit was assigned the task of delivering goods from door to door.
The little boy did not speak English at the time and used to carry two pieces of paper.
One contained his home address, while the other contained the delivery address.
Little Kirit was helped with addresses by bus drivers and pedestrians, and his junior free transit pass saved Pathaks a lot of money. The kitchen for all of these goods was a small room with little room to move about. Their efforts began to bear fruit, and the business expanded. The business then received ordered for parties and officials from India in London.
They needed a bit larger area now, so they pooled some funds and rented a shop. This drew a large number of Indians as well as some curious Londoners. This feat was achieved by working 18 hours a day, year after year.
Word of mouth spread the authenticity and quality of their products, and practically every restaurant began utilising their pastes and pickles. To make the brand more British, the family deleted the ‘h’ and became known as ‘Patak’s’. Patak’s presently employs over 700 people worldwide and exports to more than 40 countries.